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Arab World Poverty -- Whose Fault?
Capitalism Magazine ^
| Larry Elder
Posted on 11/18/2001 1:04:52 PM PST by Jean S
"Muslims love to live in the U.S. but also love to hate it. Many openly claim that the U.S. is a terrorist state but they continue to live in it. Their decision to live here is testimony that they would rather live here than anywhere else. As an Indian Muslim, I know for sure that nowhere on earth, including India, will I get the same sense of dignity and respect that I have received in the U.S."
Arab World Poverty -- Whose Fault?
By Larry Elder (November 18, 2001)
[CAPITALISMMAGAZINE.COM] "I don't have the knowledge to blame a government," said Bakhtiar Khan, an Afghan man in his mid-twenties. "I don't know about politics, but for our problems I blame the world community. All humans should be equal, but we are not. You ask me who is to blame. You find out who is to blame."
Khan, according to a recent New York Times piece on the origins of Islamic extremism, earns a subsistence level income making bricks in a pit outside the city of Peshawar, an Afghan city of 2 million, nearly 50 percent refugees. When asked about his life, he says, "Life is cruel. You can see for yourself. You wear nice clothes and are healthy. But look at us. We have no clothes to wear and we are not healthy. Your question is amazing."
So, who is to blame?
A recent story on Afghan schools described a teacher who holds up a wealth pie chart. America, she shows her students, controls this huge slice of the pie, leaving a tiny sliver for us Afghans. The not-so-subtle point? Afghans suffer poverty because of America's disproportionate wealth.
But no, Khan lacks the "knowledge to blame a government." For, through knowledge, Khan would discover that his poverty stems from corrupt, dictatorial governments, the absence of capitalism and free trade, and the lack of individual rights and the rule of law. But who, in the Arab world, spreads this message?
Dr. Muqtedar Khan, director of International Studies at Adrian College in Michigan, challenges American Muslims to set the masses straight: "While we loudly and consistently condemn Israel for its ill treatment of Palestinians, we are silent when Muslim regimes abuse the rights of Muslims and slaughter thousands of them. Remember Saddam and his use of chemical weapons against Muslims (Kurds)? Remember Pakistani army's excesses against Muslims (Bengalis)? Remember the Mujahideen of Afghanistan and their mutual slaughter? Have we ever condemned them for their excesses? Have we demanded international intervention or retribution against them? Do you know how the Saudis treat their minority Shiis? Have we protested the violation of their rights? But we all are eager to condemn Israel; not because we care for rights and lives of the Palestinians, we don't. We condemn Israel because we hate 'them.'
"Muslims love to live in the U.S. but also love to hate it. Many openly claim that the U.S. is a terrorist state but they continue to live in it. Their decision to live here is testimony that they would rather live here than anywhere else. As an Indian Muslim, I know for sure that nowhere on earth, including India, will I get the same sense of dignity and respect that I have received in the U.S. No Muslim country will treat me as well as the U.S. has. If what happened on Sept. 11 had happened in India, the biggest democracy, thousands of Muslims would have been slaughtered in riots on mere suspicion and there would be another slaughter after confirmation. But in the U.S., bigotry and xenophobia has been kept in check by media and leaders ...
"It is time that we acknowledge that the freedoms we enjoy in the U.S. are more desirable to us than superficial solidarity with the Muslim World. If you disagree, then prove it by packing your bags and going to whichever Muslim country you identify with. If you do not leave and do not acknowledge that you would rather live here than anywhere else, know that you are being hypocritical.
"It is time that we faced these hypocritical practices and struggled to transcend them. It is time that American Muslim leaders fought to purify their own lot."
But only a few weeks ago, Arab leaders condemned Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for calling Western civilization "superior" because it "guarantees respect for human rights and religion." Harsh criticism forced him to recant his "racist" statement. But if we call Berlusconi's remarks "racist," in what category do we place the statement made by Abdulrahman Awadi, formerly a high-ranking official in Kuwait? When Kuwait learned that Sulaiman abu Ghaith, a Kuwaiti citizen, had become a top lieutenant with Osama bin Laden, Kuwait revoked abu Ghaith's citizenship. Awadi said, "This is a wake-up call that we have to be very careful with freedom. Democracy and freedom of choice may be good for Western cultures, but for the Gulf countries, those are dangerous things. These people are using freedom to achieve their ends."
Who is to blame?
Countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt suffer double-digit unemployment rates, estimated as high as 25 percent. Grinding poverty and religious zealotry, wrapped around a blanket of government-led scapegoating of Israel, the United States and the West -- all combine to form a dangerous and deadly Third World victicrat mindset. Blame triumphs over enlightenment, and anger defeats reason.
CREATORS SYNDICATE COPYRIGHT 2001 LAURENCE A. ELDER
TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs
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posted on 11/18/2001 1:04:52 PM PST
by Jean S
posted on 11/18/2001 1:08:57 PM PST
who is to blame?</>
wealth generation requires three things from the government. 1. strong militia to protect outsiders from taking what has been built 2. freedom so that the people can keep the labors of their toils. 3. investment capital -- either through themselves (limit taxes) or outside investors
show me a poor nation and i will show you a country that violates at least 2 of these.
posted on 11/18/2001 1:14:56 PM PST
There is no fault to be assigned to Arab world poverty. There is only responsibility to be assigned to Western success. The sooner people understand that wealth is not a limited asset that is distributed unfairly but rather the product of effort and success, the sooner they may be inclined to take responsibility for their own success. People can create their own wealth without having to try to take it from others.
Working as I do now in the construction trades [electrician], I am learning to understand what life is like at "the bottom". The feeling of being trapped in a dead-end life is not pleasant.
No health insurance, no 401(k), no bonuses, and not enough in wages to make car payments, let alone buy a home. I don't know how these younger guys I work with survive.
(I'm not whining here - I own two cars and one home; I chose this this line of work voluntarily for my own reasons. Unlike many of the people I work with, I can get a $40/hr. job as an engineer if I am willing to commute for 3 hours per day, which I'm not.)
What am I trying to say? Heck, I dunno. I'm just glad that I live in America where I can change my situation if I want to.
posted on 11/18/2001 1:30:05 PM PST
There is not one-First World Country where the state is run by a religion. There's also not one-First World Country that denies the practice of religion. The win is in the balance. It doesn't work because control freaks gravitate to this type of power, abuse it, and justify it by saying you can't argue with God (or Allah) but really it just means you can't argue with THEM.
What works in the short run doesn't always work well in the long run.
These states need the rule of law. This doesn't mean "laws." All despots have "laws." In fact, the more despotic, the more "laws." Rule of law means the people's elected officials have made the laws, and they can be unmade by the same democratic process.
Market economies work best -- human nature and all that
Last but not least, free elections, and a free press.
posted on 11/18/2001 1:31:06 PM PST
Hard copied to have it at my fingertips wherever I am. I need to memorize some of it so that I'm prepared the next time I run into a brain-washed liberal. Wonderful article. And from a PROFESSOR? There's hope.
posted on 11/18/2001 1:34:24 PM PST
I always wonder how the people who write these article reconcile children dying in Iraq with all of Hussein's new palaces.
posted on 11/18/2001 1:40:41 PM PST
They are too busy infiltrating land to raise food. They would rather steal it!!
posted on 11/18/2001 1:42:41 PM PST
by mbb bill
Arabs will stay poor until they understand that oil was nothing more than yucky goo until man's ingenuity created uses for it. Only then did it become a valuable resource. Most Westerners understand this concept and they have become the world's material winners. Those folks who see the world in terms of social injustice measured by skewed pie-charts don't and will continue to be the world's material losers. What's more the same ingenuity that turned oil into a valuable resource can turn it back into yucky goo if the price is too high.
Instead of aiding terrorism by giving millions of dollars to "muslim charity" organisations like Al Qaeda, they should give to the poor (Red Cresend Moon).
Democracy and freedom of choice may be good for Western cultures, but for the Gulf countries, those are dangerous thingsYeah, to islam, this thing called freedom is very dangerous! Just imagine that these countries became democracies, the islam would lose power and the original leaders are without the power they're accustomed to! And therefor we should not trust them!
All humans are equal? What planet is the guy from? All humans are not equal. Humans who practice a backward faith and act like it is sometime in the 10th century deserve no better.
posted on 11/18/2001 1:55:40 PM PST
To: JeanS; freeforall
Everybody is to blame.
Those who left their pathetic homelands to become educated and comfy in "the West" and never cared enough to return home to practice their professions there are to blame.
Those who sit in their dreary corners and opt to just feel bad for themselves are to blame.
Those who just assume blame everyone else are to blame.
Those who would make it easy on themselves and prefer to pretend that "all those people" are not each individuals are to blame.
Those who don't care who they keep in power for the sake of cheap crude are to blame.
Those who would overthrow nationally elected governments for the sake of oil are to blame.
Those who allow their clerics to pass nonsence like "pray for rain" are to blame.
There's enough blame to go around for each of us to share in.The real problem is that none of us really cares...
posted on 11/18/2001 1:56:23 PM PST
"Arab World Poverty -- Whose Fault?"
Whose fault? Simple,...theirs. Their choices, their religion, their beliefs, their philosophies, their leaders, their choices, their votes (or lack of), their govenments, etc., etc.,etc.
With the exception of people who have fatal, incurable diseases, people locked up in prisons, people physically restrained under the thumb and gun of and mined and electric fences, physically restrained, people everywhere have choices. They can vote with their feet. They can leave. They can walk, swim, fly, hot air balloon, boat or raft to another place if they really want to. It might not be easy, it might be dangerous or life threatening, but they can do it if they choose. They might die trying or die at the hands of their oppressors, but almost everything in life is 50/50.
You are either alive or dead. You can die there oppressed or you can die here or someplace else free, either in comfort or modest circumstances but at least more free. You can take a chance and perhaps prosper in a free society or sit around and blame the big bad West for your misery.
On a personal level, I've learned that generally, no one, no one else is responsible or to blame for any of my "problems". I've done this, including many stupid mistakes, all by myself. I can always leave or vote with my feet. It might not be easy, it might be tough, but almost everything in my life as a free American is my own choice (with the exception of random violence, acts of Mother Nature or my own stupidity, lack of thinking or prescience or just plain bad luck. Blaming someone else or something for your bad luck or circumstances is mostly baloney. We're all adults here, think before you operate your mouth and blame America.
Want some cheese with that whine?
Of course, this is just all my opinion, I could be all wrong. But then I am a smart, happy, handsome billionaire with a large penis and a fast luxury automobile and a great big house, so I could be right too.
posted on 11/18/2001 1:59:03 PM PST
Comment #16 Removed by Moderator
No science, no arts, no system of education, no system of law, no knowledge of medicine, no agriculture, no industry, no social organization, no government that does not come from the barrel of a gun. No work ethic, no self-discipline. no pride.
No nourishment of the soul, no common sense, no ability to reason. Not even a sense of humor.
A filthy, barren, impoverished society that can only blame others for its woes and refuses to accept any responsibility for its own destiny.
posted on 11/18/2001 2:01:27 PM PST
These Arab countries that complain about America being to wealthy or powerful had thousands of years to become what we made our selves in just a couple of hundred. What ever problems they are having are their own fault. They chose the life that they lead. No one gave us this wealth and power, our ancesters paid for it with thier blood.
Unfortunately we've provided the world with US presidents like Clinton for the last 8 years who also promoted this sick kind of envy. Reagan gave the world hope and almost ended communism by showing what America was but then we let Clinton come along and smash that.
posted on 11/18/2001 2:11:27 PM PST
Poverty and Islam go hand-in-hand. Islam and dynamic economics are divergent.
But, that is not the fault of the Islamic(they would have you believe), It is your fauly because you get up in the morning and work to buy what you need and want. Therefore, it is your fault because you have too much.
posted on 11/18/2001 2:18:36 PM PST
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