Friday, December 22, 2006

"Humiliation," key to Arab/Muslim resentment

In an article entitled "Mideast Rules to Live By," Tom Friedman addresses an issue that is usually ignored by U.S. government officials, particularly those of the Cheney-Bush administration: humiliation of Arab/Muslims, given that it is at the very core of the relationships between East and West.

Mr. Friedman writes:

"Rule 11: The most underestimated emotion in Arab politics is humiliation. The Israeli-Arab conflict, for instance, is not just about borders. Israel's mere existence is a daily humiliation to Muslims, who can't understand how, if they have the superior religion, Israel can be so powerful. Al Jazeera's editor, Ahmed Sheickh, said it best when he recently told the Swiss weekly Die Weltwoche: "It gnaws at the people in the Middle East that such a small country as Israel, with only about seven million inhabitants, can defeat the Arab nation with its 350 million. That hurts our collective ego. The Palestinian problem is in the genes of every Arab. The West's problem is that it does not understand this."
I have made this point for as long as I can remember, given its importance in dealing with proud people who have indeed been humiliated time and time again, humiliation that reached a crescendo when arrogant supreme, Cheney-Bush, assumed power.

The damage done by this lack of sensitivity to foreign customs and cultures, has played a key role in promoting terrorism.

Given that promoting terrorism should NOT be our objective, one can only wonder why our "fearless leaders" insist on treating Arab/Muslims with such contempt.

Not only have Arab/Muslims been used as U.S. proxies to "maintain the balance of power" in the region but they also paid a very high price for the Holocaust as hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were evicted from their homes and forced to live in refugee camps to this day.

And, is it any wonder that resentment flourishes as U.S. troops encircle the region and establish military bases on their lands?

I can just hear the outcry in our nation should a foreign power establish military bases on our soil. Obviously, we would not tolerate such an incursion into a sovereign state.

That brings to mind the following dictum: "Do unto others as you would want others do unto you."

It's really not that complicated when you think about it....


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