The world has become a smaller place and right now, Aesop’s maxim ‘Familiarity breeds contempt’ seems appropriate. It’s no secret the US image has deteriorated, and any hopes of a Democrat executive branch as remedy have failed. Nowhere is this more evident in a blatantly misleading essay by Mohammed Kahn published at Al Jazeera (English).
The lead sentence in the essay, 'The project for a new Arab century' said it all: “No sooner did former US president George W. Bush come into power in January 2001 than a much vaunted neo-conservative doctrine came into full swing, wreaking havoc across the Middle East.”
The essay also bashes US policy under various presidents including Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter. When it comes to anti-US sentiment, proponents could care less whether there’s a liberal or conservative in The White House.
Kahn’s essay is lengthy. He assails US policy—it’s the oil, stupid—but incredibly he never once mentions the attacks on September 11, 2001. Various experts have told me many people in the Middle East have no idea those attacks even happened.
Nor does Kahn point out what so many pundits in numerous languages including English omit. Without that oil money, what, exactly, would many of these barren countries do? It works both ways. Yes, developed countries benefit from oil. So do producing countries where development occurs in enclaves far away from villages bypassed by any revolution other than religion.
Kahn obviously buys into the victimology popular around the world today, promoted by leftwing media. There seems to be an international sentiment—if a country (or for that matter, a person) fails, it’s understandable because there’s no such thing as free will. Someone else is always to blame.
Kahn avoids the linkage between troubled countries and basic rights for women. Ironically the photo accompanying his essay shows a woman in strict Islamic dress standing before a group of either police or military troops. She is apparently a protester. When I see women dressed this way, the garb strikes me as a shroud. By limiting women in a draconian manner, countries destroy a significant resource for labor and leadership.
Kahn also predictably assails Israel. What else is new?
Kahn’s essay purports to show the US “ignores” the people in Arab lands. I suppose sending food and aid to countries like Somalia doesn't count as attention. Kahn also ignores the impact of religious fanaticism on governments in countries like Iran. The government doesn’t run anything well on a good day in most countries, but when the government is cloaked in zealotry revolving around a supreme being who is currently interpreted as an all-punishing deity, things go downhill even faster.
It doesn’t help that former leaders like Al Gore and President Bill Clinton have traveled the world to pick up fat speaking fees and to distribute global warming alarmism casting the US as the cause of everything from goats going lame to hurricanes (even in areas where there are hundreds of years of hurricane history).
Kahn’s guilt is parallel to the blame he casts—he certainly doesn’t understand the American people. And by omitting a significant event in US history, he does his readers a serious disservice. Furthermore he ignores the meddling of other countries in the affairs here in the U.S. An undocumented American wanders into Iran, he is arrested. In the US we give undocumented travelers a job, free healthcare in the emergency room and if there are children, public aid.
Furthermore, if someone in the US were to hand me a copy of the Quran, I would thank him politely. If someone in Iran handed a Muslim a copy of the Bible, we all know what would happen next.
Familiarity breeds contempt. It’s a lesson world leaders would do well to heed.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Feb. 24, 2011)