Monday, August 24, 2009

Tell Me When to Start Worrying: A Review of the Current Ridiculous International Situation

By Barry Rubin

So let me get this straight. Iran's designated minister of defense is a wanted terrorist (for bombing the Jewish community building in Buenos Aires and, according to some sources, was also involved in attacks on Americans in Saudi Arabia) but there is no talk of boycotting Iran's government.

Farouk Hosni, Egypt's culture minister, as Raymond Stock reminds us, who will soon be the world's "culture czar" as head of UNESCO, says Israel is "inhuman," and "an aggressive, racist, and arrogant culture, based on robbing other people's rights and the denial of such rights." He says he would burn Israeli-authored books and accused Jews of "infiltrating" the world media.

Hamas, Hizballah, Syria and Iran daily attack Israel and Jews in language reminiscent of the Third Reich, but the Guardian--Britain's most prestigious newspaper--tells us that Israel is the Nazi one.

Rather than inform us that Western feminist groups have ignored the plight of Muslim women--not campaigning against things like honor killings, forced wearing of hijabs or burkas, and denial of education, to name but a few--the New York Times alerts us to a new danger. According to the once-great newspaper, there is a radical force of which we must be aware. What's that, you ask? Radical Islamists, the rise of antisemitism in "respectable quarters," Iran's nuclear weapons, Syria's sponsorship of terrorism?

No, there's a movement calling for the liberation of Muslim women by force! True, the Times can only come up with the name of only one person who advocates this and has never done anything about it, but so what? As the editor of Sweden's largest newspaper has informed us, you don't need any evidence to publish something.

Think that's far out? Okay, here's another one for you. The crazed but fashionable Naomi Klein is given ample space in the September issue of Harper's magazine--freedom of speech is great but why do editors decide to publish these things?—an article entitled, "Minority Death Match: Jews, Blacks, and the 'Post-Racial' Presidency." 

What is her thesis? That Israel and its supporters  are blocking the African quest for reparations due to the slave trade. Let me see, weren't a lot of the slavetraders Arab and Muslim? Didn't the British work hard to stop it? According to Klein, though, by complaining about the Durban conference's antisemitism, Israel and those who support it have given the Western imperialists a good excuse to avoid dealing with the issue of paying billions to Africa.

Meanwhile, a flunky of Muammar Qadhafi is running the UN General Assembly, the human rights' violators are ruling the UN human rights' committee, and a Lockerbie terrorist who murdered 270 people (unrepentant and failing to cooperate with the investigation) has just been released, coincidentally at the very moment when Britain and Libya seem close to concluding a huge oil deal.

I could go on, and so could you. So, are Western democratic leaders waging a campaign on any of these issues? No. Yes, I know, they are talking about higher sanctions on Iran  but in connection with the nuclear weapons' drive, not the [alleged] terrorist who'd be controlling the atomic bombs when they roll off the assembly line.

Meanwhile, we are being told that the greatest threat to world peace (ok, an exaggeration but not by much), is construction of 2500 apartments by Israel on the West Bank.

In fact, we thus face three problems simultaneously:

--A threat from radical and terrorist forces increasing in confidence and aggressiveness,

--A failure of Western leaders who not only don't seem to feel that action is vital but usually don't even admit the problem exists.

--And a dereliction of duty by institutions, like universities and media, which are supposed to warn their societies about this kind of thing rather than either cover it up or apologize it.

Tell me when I should start worrying.

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