Gerald Honigman is a Florida educator who has done extensive doctoral work in Middle East studies, has lectured on numerous university and other platforms. He has debated many of the best Arab and pro-Arab academics in public debates and on television. Mr. Honigman is widely published in academic journals, magazines, newspapers and other publications.
Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:37 pm Come Now, Gents...These Are Arabs
Come Now Gents, These Are Arabs You’re Dealing With…
by Gerald A. Honigman
The headline of the August 7th AP story read, “Egypt Bristles as U.S. pols urge freeing prisoners.”
Senators McCain and Graham, both Republicans, came calling in Cairo to strongly suggest that the non-Jihadi military rulers free Mohamed Morsi and other Ikhwan/Muslim Brotherhood folks who would–later if not sooner–have both the senators’ and their Egyptian opponents’ heads on pikes if given half a chance.
Oh yes, I know, the “democratic” thing…and America has to thus justify continuing its billions of dollars in aid that it has provided to Cairo over the years.
The problem is, in places like Egypt, where none of the instituitions and values have been nurtured to promote what we in the West have come to mean by democracy, in the so-called “Arab” world, especially, it turns out that democracy, at best, simply translates into majority rule. Ask Egypt’s native, pre-Arab/non-Arab Copts how they like that idea. Most often, when such a given majority rules, everyone else is in for major problems–often deadly ones. Nevertheless, exceptions can sometimes be found where, to ward off disaster, militant minorities are able to flip this coin–like in Saddam’s Iraq or the Assads’ Syria.
Yet, in places like Egypt, where a well-organized, almost century old Ikhwan bided its time (especially after its affiliate’s assassination of President Sadat, the man who flew to Jerusalem–not Tel Aviv–to make peace), took advantage of the disorganization of the rest of the opposition to Sadat’s pharaonic successor, and then–once elected–did the predictable despotic power grab under the guise of “democracy,” nations like America also share blame.
The West allowed Arab potentates to do just about anything they wanted–as long as the oil flowed. And I mean anything…like 21st century slave trade and other such goodies.
With the Obama Administration’s foreign policy basically a disaster–especially in the Middle East and its environs–Washington is desperately looking for something it can call success. So Jews–watch out!
For the sake of “peace” (of the grave) negotiations, Jews have thus been pressured to give away the store to folks who repeatedly swear that, no matter how much and what Israel unilaterally gives, Arabs will never recognize it as the State of the Jews anyway. It makes no never mind that most of the 21 “Arab” states which belong to the “Arab” League were conquered and forcibly Arabized from mostly non-Arab, native peoples–scores of millions of them–who had their own native languages and cultures frequently outlawed. But, again, these were Arabs, not Jews–so a free pass was more often than not the routine cost.
Among the assorted goodies Israel has been forced to offer up by its American friends are over a hundred Arab prisoners–many with the deliberately spilt blood of innocents on their hands. Having said this, however, that problem has Israeli origins, not American. Ask any Arab what would happen to a Jew caught in their country who slaughtered Arab civilians in cars, homes, and so forth. Need I say anything more?
I must admit, after Israel traded over a thousand other Arab “heroes” to get back one soldier a few years ago, I thought that perhaps it had learned a lesson. But, obviously not…And I cannot understand, for the life of me, what Netanyahu is now thinking…
Support for Israel among the American people–and thus Congress–is soaring at a time when most of these folks can clearly see the barbarism which surrounds the Jews on all sides. The current American President’s foreign policy looks more pathetic as the days go by–one lie after another being exposed, along with one failure after another.
So, why does Netanyahu cave?
Perhaps I’m talking too soon. Perhaps he will indeed insist that his minuscule nation–which one needs a magnifying glass to find on a world globe–get the territorial compromise it was promised by the final draft of UNSC Resolution 242 at the end of the ’67 war. Perhaps he will not allow Judea to once again become Judenrein.
Yes, perhaps–but there are too many rumors flying around which suggest that Bibi will settle for far less than what 242 had in mind when it called for the creation of more defensible, secure, and real borders to replace the ’49 UN-imposed armistice lines which made Israel mere nine to fifteen miles wide at its waist…virtually begging to be bisected.
Unlike the pliable Hebrews, Egypt’s Arabs basically told America to go _ _ _ _ itself when Obama sent the senate to do his bidding. Hey, The One never met an Islamist he didn’t like–as long as he wasn’t wearing a bandana that spelled out al-Qaida on it. But the secularists, latter-day nationalist Nasserites, and military know the Ikhwan all-too-well.
Again, these ain’t Jews Obama’s Uncle Sam is dealing with–whose arms too often appear to be the only ones in the region Washington is willing to twist.
Okay, next issue…
Now, unless you’ve been off Planet Earth for a while, you’ve probably heard the name Snowden…
An American computer specialist who worked for both the CIA and the NSA, he spilled some of the beans of top-secret programs and other sensitive information that leading professionals have assessed has already greatly damaged American and other allied interests. He willingly endangered numerous friends and contacts living in parts of the world hostile to the West and to the real, more inclusive, tolerant, and open democracy we claim to cherish. He fled and now resides in Russia. Whatever Snowden thought his motives were, a traitorous butthole he surely is.
And this begs the question:
Why is what Snowden did nasty and unacceptable, but the Obama Administration can deliberately expose Israel’s critical defense secrets and other sensitive information to those who are sworn to its destruction?
Obama’s team has done this time after time. I will cite just two of too many examples. Imagine if this was reversed and Israel was endangering America this way. Also keep in mind that America is a nation some three thousand miles wide, with two vast oceans separating it from its most likely enemies, and a population of over 300 million people. Thirty-four Israels would fit into President George W. Bush’s state of Texas.
The first troubling example involves a Defense Department website which published top-secret details about a new Israeli army base where the next generation of the Arrow missile defense system is to be installed–a free gift to the Jews’ many enemies. As the astute author of this article http://www.commentarymagazine......i-secrets/ writes, there is little ” doubt that the publication of the Israeli information could endanger that nation’s ability to defend the facility.”
The next and last example of such leaks I will offer also directly involves Israel’s attempt to protect itself from folks like the mad mullahs of Tehran who have promised to wipe it off the map.
Indeed, these are pregnant, but scary, times we are living in.
Returning to the beginning of this article, regarding Egypt–and despite my having intensely studied the region and having been involved with it academically, professionally, and privately for most of my life–I must still say how surprised I am at the recent turn of events. And I’m not the only one who was caught off guard at the courage of the masses of Egyptian people who had the foresight to see that, with the Ikhwan, Egypt would be destined to follow the path of Iran decades earlier when the excesses of a more secular shah were traded for far worse excesses of the ayatollahs’ theocracy.
The question is, where does Egypt and the rest of the region go from here? How can real democracy–one in which the equality and freedoms we strive for in the West–come to be able to blossom and thrive in an “Arab” world foreign to such ideas. And foreign they are…
I offer no real answers here–and I am also not naive.
Those opposing Morsi are mostly not Jeffersonian democrats. Yet, many folks in the Middle East have been exposed to Western ideals and ideas. Many were classmates throughout my studies, and I taught others while a T.A. during my own doctoral studies days.
So, the seeds are already in the region and have been there for quite some time. But, again, those seeds need careful nurturing, and that’s where the dilemma lies.
When and how will a predominantly Arab Muslim society allow the institutions and ideas necessary for this dream to prosper? And are Shari’ah-based Islam and most Arabs capable of permitting such eventualities?
Not a few long-time students of the region would answer that last question in the negative.