Monday, October 09, 2006

Haven't We Been Here Before?

(All emphases by Always On Watch)

Until 9/11, I did not follow events in the Middle East. But since that day, when the daily paper arrives, I first read "World News," with focus upon recent developments in the Middle East. Many times, I have a feeling of deja vu, harkening back to the time when all I did was glance at similar headlines in the world section of the newspaper and of news magazines. Now, of course, I read entire articles instead of merely skimming over the headlines.

On the inside of the back page of the first section of the Sunday, October 8, 2006 edition of the Washington Post appeared the headline "Rice's Tour of Mideast Yields Little Progress on Key Issues." Excerpt from the article:
"LONDON, Oct. 7 -- It was a tough week for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in the Middle East. On four issues pivotal to the future of the world's most volatile region, U.S. diplomatic efforts made no visible progress or came up against unexpected resistance during her five-day tour, according to Arab and Israeli officials and analysts.

"On Iraq, Arab-Israeli peace, democracy promotion and fostering a so-called moderate bloc of Arab states to stand together against militancy, Rice pressed at each of six stops for new energy or more decisive action. Many of the Arab leaders she met share U.S. fears about the region's future, but there is a growing divide even with Washington's closest allies over what needs to be done, at what pace, in what order and by whom, according to Arab officials interviewed at each stop....

"The United States and the Arab world are now engaged in a chicken-and-egg argument over what happens next. Arab governments -- including Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and five oil-rich Persian Gulf sheikdoms -- all appealed to Rice to revive U.S. leadership to break deadlocks on several fronts because they have so far been unable to do it alone, Arab officials said. But Rice basically told governments at each stop that they must first take difficult steps to create conditions more conducive to greater U.S. involvement, U.S. officials said....

"The greatest pressure put on Rice at every stop was to do something to jump-start the moribund Arab-Israeli peace process, which Arab leaders almost unanimously described as the key to addressing other flash points as well. Yet Rice found herself negotiating some of the same issues she was engaged in last November...

"Senior Arab officials and analysts also said U.S. efforts to promote democracy and foster an anti-militant bloc were contradictory, because the moderates the United States is trying to rally against radical Islamic groups are some of region's most autocratic governments...."
Most of the above seems so familiar to me. Over and over again, hopes for peace have come to naught or have been dashed shortly after much lauded peace accords. Do we really believe that Muslim resistance to the path to peace is "unexpected," and are we actually shocked when diplomatic overtures result in "no visible progress"? And should that impasse continue to be laid at the feet of the United States or of Israel?

Character Ishmael, from Leon Uris's The Haj (page 14):
"So before I was nine I had learned the basic canon of Arab life. It was me against my brother; me and my brother against our father; my father against my cousins and the clan; the clan against the tribe; and the tribe against the world. And all of us against the infidel."

50 Comments:

At 10/09/2006 9:48 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

I hope you're not relying on Leon Uris to learn history. He was a zionist novelist...

I will send you a list of books to read on Middle Eastern history, if you're interested.

 
At 10/09/2006 10:15 PM, Blogger Pastorius said...

Elizabeth,
What would Israel have to do to satisfy Hizbollah?

 
At 10/09/2006 10:35 PM, Blogger Gormless Norman said...

What do you want to bet Elizabeth's list includes Edward Said?

 
At 10/09/2006 11:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

AOW

There has been a ham handed attempt to blackmail me be a deranged leftist at Freedomnow's site. I hate to ask for a favor but if you could visit the comment section and lend a barb or two it would be appreciated.

This shows how sick and deranged those on the far left are.

 
At 10/10/2006 12:10 AM, Blogger kuhnkat said...

AOW,

at one time I admired the lady. At this point in time I believe that she has fallen under the sway of the Commies that infest Old Foggy Bottom since before McArthy!!

They just DON'T seem to be connected to reality there. Probably why they got the nickname Foggy Bottom!!!

 
At 10/10/2006 7:33 AM, Blogger Denny said...

I don't know why, but I don't trust those autocratic governments in the Middle East either.

What kind of trust can there be with regimes that oppress their people and tell them that the Jews are responsible for the world's evils?

It is hard to get despotic monarchs to purposely relinquish their power when they fear that they will be prosecuted for the evil deeds they have done while in power. Their obstinate, unrepented arrogance is surely sickening, but one day in the not too distant future, the oil that they sit on won't be worth the money they use to drill it out of the ground because of the new fuel sources being developed as we speak.

 
At 10/10/2006 12:39 PM, Blogger American Crusader said...

You have to wonder if real peace in this area/region will ever be achieved without one side annihilating the other.
I don't see much common ground especially if Hamas refuses to recognize Israel.
Syria and Iran both have stated they want to wipe Israel off the map.
Statements like these leaves little room for negotiations.

 
At 10/10/2006 12:43 PM, Blogger American Crusader said...

Leon Uris was a Zionist novelist? Maybe that's why I liked him so much.
Exodus was a great novel.

 
At 10/10/2006 1:02 PM, Blogger Brooke said...

Anytime someone starts in with "those Zionists" you know exactly where they are coming from.

Denny: I hear Honda is well underway with a hydro-power station the size of an air-conditioning unit that will power the average home and five hydro cars. They will sell it as a package deal with one hydro car, and one can easily convert their home.

I'd sell my left leg for it. No more power bill, no more foreign oil... :D

 
At 10/10/2006 1:15 PM, Blogger cube said...

We must drag the middle east out of barbarism and into the modern age. Those who don't want to come along (like the Nazis of WWII) will be killed.

 
At 10/10/2006 1:57 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Israel willing to move any of the claim jumpers (aka "settlers") off the West Bank?

 
At 10/10/2006 2:42 PM, Blogger Farmer John said...

I wonder if any Pseudostinians (aka authochthonous people of the ME - NOT!) would be willing to revert to their native language in trade? Or did the ancient Hebrews commit linguicide too?

 
At 10/10/2006 2:47 PM, Blogger Farmer John said...

oooh, that's right. It must have been the Arabs that committed linguicide since the Pseudostinians all speak Arabic!

 
At 10/10/2006 2:52 PM, Blogger Farmer John said...

...Funny how it is when you make everyone say their prayers in Arabic, even if they don't speak the language!

Uncle Mo must have been a bilingual education teacher in the American school system. Why isn't an English Koran available? Either that or a linguicidal maniac!

 
At 10/10/2006 4:23 PM, Blogger Steve Harkonnen said...

"I hope you're not relying on Leon Uris to learn history. He was a zionist novelist..."

THAT statement goes over like a fart in church in here...LOL.

Most of us are in support of Zionists, Liz. Be careful.

 
At 10/10/2006 5:09 PM, Anonymous religion of pieces said...

Attention all Christian congregations regarding the Pope's comments on Islam . If you live in an area with an active Muslim population, it may be wise to review your Church's security, fire-precautions and insurance cover:

http://www.bnp.org.uk/news_detail.php?newsId=1173

 
At 10/10/2006 5:13 PM, Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

That quote says it ALL AOW!..brilliant insight there! "So before I was nine I had learned the basic canon of Arab life. It was me against my brother; me and my brother against our father; my father against my cousins and the clan; the clan against the tribe; and the tribe against the world. And all of us against the infidel."

 
At 10/10/2006 6:18 PM, Blogger nanc said...

the mighty will be few and narrow is the gate.

 
At 10/10/2006 7:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JOHN BROWN ALERT

HE HAS BEEN IN THE COMMENT SECTION
OF MY SITE

 
At 10/10/2006 7:50 PM, Blogger Mustang said...

Is a Zionist's point of view invalid because he or she is a Zionist? Ever read The Haj? It sems to me that Uris' observation of Arab culture is right on the mark.

But I do agree there are other resources, and I'm pretty sure that AOW has read most of them.

 
At 10/10/2006 8:56 PM, Blogger The Merry Widow said...

Mustang- a full reading of the Bible, especially Romans should clear that little thing up! Always go back to the Source. Yes, AC, I liked that one too.

tmw

 
At 10/10/2006 9:45 PM, Blogger Gayle said...

Watch out for those evil Zionist novelists, AOW! LOL!

This is going to turn out to be another Crusades, there is no way to avoid it. *sigh* Such is life... history always, ALWAYS repeats itself. I truly wish it didnt.

 
At 10/10/2006 10:06 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I've been reading The Haj, and the citation fit this particular blog article.

Except for novels related to the literature courses I teach, I haven't read much fiction since 9/11. No time!

But fiction can point out truths in a different way than news articles. Don't discount the value and impact of fiction!

TMW,
I know that you intended a different meaning, but you've reminded me that I should retackle Michener's The Source, which I read decades ago. Michener is certainly not a Zionist author, but I enjoy his research-based historical fiction. The Source is available on audiotape at my public library. What a tome! Must have taken dozen of tapes to record the book.

Crusader,
Ah, Exodus! Great book! I should reread that one as well--it's been a while.

Mustang,
I do agree there are other resources, and I'm pretty sure that AOW has read most of them.

Of course, I don't use fiction as a primary source. But for a deeper and "more personal" understanding of a particular culture or a particular era, I find fiction to be invaluable.

KuhnKat,
In the summer of 2005, Ms. Rice mentioned "the holy Koran." She got a letter from me on that one--for all the good it did.

Denny,
I don't trust those autocratic governments in the Middle East either....

It is hard to get despotic monarchs to purposely relinquish their power when they fear that they will be prosecuted for the evil deeds they have done while in power....


Well said!

Were the House of Saud to fall, who would seize power?

Steve,
Most of us are in support of Zionists

Yep. The alternatives are unacceptable--genocide being among those alternatives.

ROP,
Off to check that link in a minute. Thanks!

Farmer,
I wonder if any Pseudostinians (aka authochthonous people of the ME - NOT!) would be willing to revert to their native language in trade?

Do we really need to wonder?

About Arabic...It is the language of Allah, so I guess that praying in Arabic is absolutely essential for him to hear the prayer.

WHT,
The quote from The Haj stuck in my mind. The West would do well to remember it because it's based on an Arab proverb.

Proverbs can provide insights as to how a particular group thinks, you know. They can also be used as a tool.

Cube,
We must drag the middle east out of barbarism and into the modern age.

Will require more of a war than that in which we're already involved.

Gormless Norman,
Said? Probably.

Pastorius,
What would Israel have to do to satisfy Hizbollah?

Israel would have to cease to exist. But you already knew the answer.

And the same goes for Hamas. I've read the charter, disgusting paragraph after disgusting paragraph.

Elizabeth,
I will send you a list of books to read on Middle Eastern history, if you're interested.

Feel free to post a list here. Other commenters might be interested as well.

 
At 10/10/2006 10:10 PM, Blogger nanc said...

remember, condi's father was a presbyterian minister. pcusa of which i believe his church was a member of is now having second thoughts about their divestments of israel - they also called for a boycott of caterpillar products after the rachel "pancake" corrie debacle.

condi is 50 plus - never been married and has no children. these are three combos i've never trusted. just a hunch.

 
At 10/10/2006 10:11 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Gayle,
You probably saw Historical Context, which I posted not so long ago.

A long, long war, whether or not the West wants to recognize a trend spanning nearly 14 centuries.

 
At 10/10/2006 10:13 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Nanc,
condi's father was a presbyterian minister. pcusa

That may explain a lot.

Hunches are sometimes reliable, sometimes not, but I know that you're pretty reliable with yours.

 
At 10/10/2006 10:16 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Duck,
Are the Pseudostinians in the West Bank ready to quit lobbing grenades?

 
At 10/10/2006 10:33 PM, Blogger Douglas V. Gibbs said...

you mean there is such thing as a moderate arab state?

 
At 10/10/2006 10:56 PM, Blogger nanc said...

oh sure, douglas! it's soon to be called the u.s.! sorry, i could not resist...

 
At 10/11/2006 1:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uris wasn't the first to make such a commentary.

Genesis 16:12 - And he [Ishmael] shall be a wild ass of a man: his hand shall be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the face of all his brethren.'

Nothing has changed.

 
At 10/11/2006 6:14 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Oops! In my zeal to delete spam, I also deleted Seth's comment:

IMHO, there will never be peace between the Israelis and the "Palestinians", and I attach no fault to the Israelis here.

They have demonstrated their good faith time and time again as useful idiots from our very own gov't, including Clinton and Bush, have engineered "a lasting peace" between the two -- each time compelling Israel to make concessions that endanger its security while the Arabs do nothing to honor their own committments, and simply continue the terrorism.

No matter how many times the Pals prove that they could care less about anything they agree to, these moronic western politicians and diplomats continue to repeat the same mistake and each time Israel gets the brown end of the stick. You'd think that people whose parties run them to lead our country would be just a little bit smarter than that, but I suppose that's asking too much these days.

The day Hamas accepts the existence of Israel will be the day after the IDF has stomped them into the dust, and even then, their "acceptance" will only last until they've recruited, regrouped and rearmed.

 
At 10/11/2006 9:37 AM, Blogger nanc said...

funny you should mention that - one time when i was marking spam i accidentally marked beamish and didn't know how to undo it...until he told me...and then sent me to my room without supper...

 
At 10/11/2006 12:01 PM, Blogger Brooke said...

LOL! I'm surprised he didn't nuke your inbox!

 
At 10/11/2006 12:47 PM, Blogger The Merry Widow said...

AoW- It was meant as a double entant(sic)!
heheheheh!

tmw

 
At 10/11/2006 1:29 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

"Is a Zionist's point of view invalid because he or she is a Zionist? Ever read The Haj? It sems to me that Uris' observation of Arab culture is right on the mark."

Now there's a fascinating comment, folks. Uris must be right because it seems to me he is.

Now the purveyor of this rather useless subjectivity will also be the first to argue for absolutes in other areas.

In other words, why don't you folks just accept your prejudices and move on rather than making yourself look silly by trying to give your bigotry a basis in reason?

 
At 10/11/2006 3:53 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Did Uris ever even travel to the Middle East?

He had a lot to say for someone who spent his time on the sidelines.

 
At 10/11/2006 6:22 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Duck,
Did Uris ever even travel to the Middle East?

Apparently so. See THIS.

 
At 10/11/2006 6:25 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Nanc & Brooke,
Just the thought of my deleting one of Mr. Beamish's comments make me shake in my boots. Hehehe.

Seth took my idiocy well. He's one nice guy. :)

 
At 10/11/2006 6:26 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Douglas,
you mean there is such thing as a moderate arab state?

We hear about them, but further investigation doesn't support the allegation.

 
At 10/11/2006 10:50 PM, Blogger nanc said...

ODG - i didn't delete one of his comments! i marked an e-mail of his as spam when i was cleaning house one day...my life hasn't been the same since...

 
At 10/12/2006 7:30 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Nanc,
didn't delete one of his comments! i marked an e-mail of his as spam when i was cleaning house one day...my life hasn't been the same since...

Never ever delete something from Mr. Beamish!

 
At 10/12/2006 7:31 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

TMW,
Double entendre--I think. My French isn't too good.

 
At 10/12/2006 10:37 AM, Blogger Farmer John said...

I read "The Source"...

but I still favor primaries over secondaries and opinionaries.

That was quite a 2x meaning tmw!

 
At 10/13/2006 9:29 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Farmer,
I read "The Source"...

but I still favor primaries over secondaries and opinionaries.


Agreed about sources. Nevertheless, fiction adds a you-are-there element. If you want to be there, that is.

 
At 10/13/2006 6:04 PM, Blogger Freedomnow said...

Ducky thinks that Islamic bigotry is acceptable against the Western Eichmanns.

In his circles it is thought of as enlightened to defend Islamic-fascist terrorism.

 
At 10/13/2006 11:16 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Nothing wrong with deleting my posts. Sometimes I do for fun.

As far as the candy wrapping efforts in the diplomacy department, I think it's damned hilarious that our President sends a black woman to speak to the misogynistic racists that control the Middle Eastern Islamic nations at out leisure. It's like saying "fuck you" twice without saying it at all.

 
At 10/13/2006 11:17 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

at "our" leisure...

 
At 10/13/2006 11:29 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Mr. Beamish,
Nothing wrong with deleting my posts. Sometimes I do for fun.

Similar to flagging one's own blog? Hehehe.

During the Clinton administration, my Arab neighbor ranted that the U.S. had sent a Jewess to negotiate. A black woman is nearly as hated. Muslims are notorious racists and misogynists, of course.

 
At 10/14/2006 3:51 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

AOW,

You probably already know that the Arabic equivalent to the "n-word" used when Arabs refer to a black person is "abd" - slave.

 
At 10/14/2006 3:58 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Mr. Beamish,
I learned that bit of information from 1001 Arabian Nights, or a commentary thereon. Thank you for reminding me!

As you know, it has long been Arab tradition to make eunuchs of black slaves.

BTW, Arabian Nights is considered by Arabs to be fairy tales. Some of them are not nearly as "nice" as Aladdin!

 

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