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Why Donít Western Elites Get the Middle East? Because They Think Itís Just Like Them (Sort of)
Pajamas Media ^ | Barry Rubin

Posted on 11/19/2011 10:05:13 AM PST by ventanax5

I’ve come to realize a hitherto hidden dimension of why it is so hard for Western establishment figures (policymakers, journalists, and academics) to understand the Middle East. It is the conflict between the thirst for good news and the reality of bad news.

Being optimists (based on the relatively good course of their own societies?) and believing that positive change is really easy if people only put their minds to making it happen (ditto and also liberal thinking), they exaggerate any sign that things are getting better.

Moreover, contemporary thinking trembles in horror about saying anything critical about Third World peoples (racism, Islamophobia) while it is considered noble to criticize “ourselves.” On top of that is the assumption that no one can really be radical. They are just responding to past mistreatment and will revert to being moderate the minute the oppression is corrected.

So constantly we are led to an artificial optimism that ignores threats or even converts them into benefits.

How many examples I see every day!

(Excerpt) Read more at pjmedia.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: elites; middleeast; wot

1 posted on 11/19/2011 10:05:14 AM PST by ventanax5
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To: ventanax5

Link

http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/2011/11/why-dont-western-elites-get-middle-east.html


2 posted on 11/19/2011 10:06:50 AM PST by ventanax5
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To: ventanax5
Why don’t Western elites get the Middle East?

It's a trick question . . . right?

Because Western elites are morons. It's an afflection that infects anyone who is always talking and never listening.

3 posted on 11/19/2011 10:12:14 AM PST by YHAOS (you betcha!)
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4 posted on 11/19/2011 10:16:09 AM PST by DJ MacWoW (America! The wolves are here! What will you do?)
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To: ventanax5

People understand the Middle East, they just don’t comprehend what they are all about. The Middle East lives in the 17th Century and doesn’t want to change or are afraid to change. Just watch pictures of areas in the Middle East. There is no way we would live in mud huts, dirt streets and use donkeys for transportation. Most can’t read or write and don’t want to learn. Sure, there are cities with, somewhat modern facilities, but on the whole they are so backwards that it is almost impossible to change them. They listen to anyone that yells the loudest and carries the biggest gun. We will never change them.


5 posted on 11/19/2011 10:19:37 AM PST by RC2
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To: ventanax5

Many Westerners, elites and otherwise, still hang on to the notion that folks all over the world want the same things. They don’t.

If the realities in various Muslim nations don’t disabuse people of that notion I guess nothing will.


6 posted on 11/19/2011 10:22:49 AM PST by Will88
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To: ventanax5
Moreover, contemporary thinking trembles in horror about saying anything critical about Third World peoples (racism, Islamophobia) while it is considered noble to criticize “ourselves.”

Ahh, but contemporary liberal elites never critize "themselves." They criticize "America" and "Americans" and "Western Civilization." By the very act of their criticism they exclude themselves, in their own minds, from the group or institution being criticized.

These guys are often called "self-hating" because of the viciousness with which they attack their own societies. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In the history of the world there has never been a more smugly self-confident and self-righteous group. The mandarins of China and the Inquisitors might have matched them, but nobody has exceeded them.

Again, what they call "self-criticism" is actually criticism of their own society, which they exempt themselves from, in their minds, by that very criticism.

7 posted on 11/19/2011 10:27:09 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: Will88

Many Western liberals think that they understand other cultures because they’ve been indoctrinated in multi-culturalism.

The problem is that the various “victim-group studies” subjects (women, black, Native American, Hispanic, etc.) aren’t really about those groups and their cultures at all.

They are instead about the history of white male oppression of these groups. Those who study these subjects aren’t interested at all in the people or cultures in question, except insofar as they can be used for a club with which to beat their own society and feed their own self-esteem.


8 posted on 11/19/2011 10:33:54 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: RC2
In less than five pages, you get not only the best explanation of the catastrophic anti-human outlook that comprises what Quigley calls the Pakistani-Peruvian axis, you have a beautiful and elegant summation of the core values of Western Christian culture:

Love, humility, brotherhood, cooperation, the sanctity of work, the fellowship of community, the image of man as a fellow creature made in the image of God, respect for women as personalities and partners of men, mutual helpmates on the road to spiritual salvation, and the vision of our universe, with all of its diversity, complexity, and multitude of creatures, as a reflection of the power and goodness of God – these basic aspects of Christ’s teachings are almost totally lacking throughout the Pakistani-Peruvian axis and most notably absent on the “Christian” portion of that axis from Sicily, or even the Aegean Sea, westward to Baja California and Tierra del Fuego. Throughout the whole axis, human actions are not motivated by these “Christian virtues,” but by the more ancient Arabic personality traits, which become vices and sins in the Christian outlook: harshness, envy, lust, greed, selfishness, cruelty, and hatred.

That last sentence is worth repeating, as it illuminates the unbridgeable gulf that separates these two visions of the world. "...harshness, envy, lust, greed, selfishness, cruelty, and hatred," This is the outlook of the modern 'liberal' Left that we see on display every day. We, who have so far not so much as lifted a finger against those who hate and despise us precisely because we uphold those Western Christian values (even if only in he breech) and however imperfectly, will ultimately have to rise to the call to arms to save what remains of our Western civilization. If anything is worth fighting for, it is for these core values:

"Love, humility, brotherhood, cooperation, the sanctity of work, the fellowship of community, the image of man as a fellow creature made in the image of God, respect for women as personalities and partners of men, mutual helpmates on the road to spiritual salvation, and the vision of our universe, with all of its diversity, complexity, and multitude of creatures, as a reflection of the power and goodness of God..."

The alternative is a nightmare world of slaughter, cruelty, atrocity and slavery. That world has existed, exists today, and will eventually dominate the West if we do not stop it.
9 posted on 11/19/2011 10:51:13 AM PST by Noumenon (The only 'NO' a liberal understands is the one that arrives at muzzle velocity.)
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To: Noumenon

As one soldier put it during WWII when talking to his preacher......During war, I leave my bible and religion at home. I’ll pick it up again when I get home.” This is what we will have to consider if we don’t change our country and get back to the basics.


10 posted on 11/19/2011 11:00:43 AM PST by RC2
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To: ventanax5
At the root of it, I think it's very simple once you take out any notion of good "intent" or obliviousness: The leftist elites hate Christians and Orhodox Jews with a burning passion... and so they side with other like-minded groups (e.g., Islamists, radical gay activists, etc.).

In the process, they get to live out their vicarious, revolutionary revenge fantasies through the Islamist terrorists...

The fact that there are gross contradictions- the Islamists that the leftists coddle are the most anti-gay, and anti-woman's rights people on the planet (with terrorist groups funded by "billionaires and millionaires")- is completely irrelevant. They are blinded by what dominates them to the core...

11 posted on 11/19/2011 11:28:24 AM PST by Qbert ("The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry" - William F. Buckley, Jr.)
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To: Sherman Logan
Many Western liberals think that they understand other cultures because they’ve been indoctrinated in multi-culturalism.

Multiculturalism explains the problem with those on the left and some others, but there is also a segment on the right who cling to the naive notion that folks all over the world want the same things, that they all want something like American freedom and democracy. That's just naive and dangerously wrong.

I'm afraid we'll get unpleasant lessons in that reality as US troops, and their control and influence are removed from Iraq and Afghanistan.

12 posted on 11/19/2011 11:47:29 AM PST by Will88
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To: ventanax5

Liberals believe nothing will apply to THEM personally.

If the muslims win and start killing people under sharia, certainly THEY will not have that done to them. They’re big people and they’re in the elite crowd.

That’s part of it. Some do realize that can happen but they don’t let on. They’ll let the gullible elite think they’re untouchable but be far removed from places that go down first.

Eventually though there will be no safe place, they will realize it too late and they’ll either convert (genuinely or not) or they’ll do their best to go dark. Neither will work out for them, ultimately.


13 posted on 11/19/2011 11:59:18 AM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: RC2

I take my God wherever I go. I don’t leave home without Him. That wouldn’t stop me from defending myself or my fellow man. If anything it confirms it for me.

Think what would have happened to David if He had left God at home the morning he went up against Goliath.


14 posted on 11/19/2011 12:01:45 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: Noumenon

Thanks for the link. Lots of good reading there.


15 posted on 11/19/2011 12:06:31 PM PST by algernonpj (He who pays the piper . . .)
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To: ventanax5

Western Elites have abandoned their Christian roots which understands original sin and human behavior.


16 posted on 11/19/2011 12:32:57 PM PST by donna (This is what happens when America is no longer a Christian nation.)
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17 posted on 11/19/2011 12:54:10 PM PST by RedMDer (Forward With Confidence!)
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To: RC2
The Middle East lives in the 17th 7th Century
18 posted on 11/19/2011 12:56:00 PM PST by PIF (They came for me and mine ... now it is your turn ...)
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To: ventanax5

Well, they’re wrong then, aren’t they.


19 posted on 11/19/2011 1:38:49 PM PST by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto.)
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To: ventanax5

I would suggest this article to help with understanding the problem:

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/05/why-muslim-cultures-lag-behind.html


20 posted on 11/19/2011 2:07:57 PM PST by LarryG
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To: Will88

You are quite right.

It’s really odd that people who are so proud of their tolerance for differing cultures are so dogmatic that there really aren’t any differences between those cultures.

(I’m speaking of the lefties, of course.) Most right-wingers believe there are indeed differences between cultures, and the other ones are inferior. On net I agree with this, although every culture has aspects that are admirable, often superior to our own.


21 posted on 11/19/2011 3:56:00 PM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: Qbert
The leftist elites hate Christians and Orhodox Jews with a burning passion... and so they side with other like-minded groups (e.g., Islamists, radical gay activists, etc.).

I agree. I've believed for some time that the dominating aspects for liberals is hatred of and alienation from western civilization.

Many conservatives believe they hate America because it's insufficiently socialist, for example. I believe this is exactly backwards. The hatred came first for them. The socialism is just one of the many possible rationales they can spin for themselves to "justify" that hatred.

Which, IMO, can be seen by the way when Communism collapsed the commies in this country switched without missing beat to using environmentalism or feminism or multiculturalism to justify their anger and contempt.

22 posted on 11/19/2011 4:00:50 PM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: Sherman Logan

“...Many conservatives believe they hate America because it’s insufficiently socialist, for example. I believe this is exactly backwards. The hatred came first for them. The socialism is just one of the many possible rationales they can spin for themselves to “justify” that hatred.

Which, IMO, can be seen by the way when Communism collapsed the commies in this country switched without missing beat to using environmentalism or feminism or multiculturalism to justify their anger and contempt.”

—Interesting observation- could well be true.


23 posted on 11/19/2011 4:42:41 PM PST by Qbert ("The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry" - William F. Buckley, Jr.)
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To: Secret Agent Man

Of course, God could have worked it some other way, but David took his slingshot, too.


24 posted on 11/19/2011 6:19:42 PM PST by chesley (Eat what you want, and die like a man. Never trust anyone who hasn't been punched in the face)
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25 posted on 11/19/2011 6:33:41 PM PST by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: chesley

My point was he didn’t leave his religion back at home. People back then didn’t compartmentalize their lives like a lot of people do today. It’s really just a recent phenomena of modern man’s rationalization process.

The impression you get is that because the guy’s in war, he puts his religion on hold. Like it has no place in war. I disagree as religious people are needed to make the tough decisions and be able to justify them as necessary. To not only do the ugly things that need to be done, and not let it turn them hard and ugly, but to be on a Christian level, unhappy they have to do what needs to be done. Glad they can protect and possibly by their actions make things end in their favor more quickly, but at the same time wishing they didn’t have to.


26 posted on 11/19/2011 10:45:01 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: ventanax5

Muslims do not “think” as the rest of the world might...most can’t except those who want to gain power or retain it, and even they’ve had abusive upbringings in most cases.

You couple abuse with the Koranic teachings and there is no place to run except deep within. Dissociation becomes habit forming as a means to deal with their harsh upbringing...and if it continues into adulthood it is not uncommon they develope or have already developed mental health issues such as dissociative identity disorders, and that will vary depending on the level of abuse.

From this “triggers” can and will happen despite the host country they are in...which is why we’ve seen husbands beheading their wife, Fathers killing their daughters, and rapes of woman and the list goes on and on. Their minds are wired.


27 posted on 11/19/2011 11:03:50 PM PST by caww
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To: Secret Agent Man

We’ve got no disagreement. My point is that David didn’t depend on God to do all the work. He took care of what he could and trusted the Lord for the rest.

And, it woeked out pretty well for him


28 posted on 11/20/2011 11:55:34 AM PST by chesley (Eat what you want, and die like a man. Never trust anyone who hasn't been punched in the face)
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