Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Running to stand still

Chastening, Andrew Sullivan style --

The Turks and the Kurds can become an arc of hope for some Persians who want to live in a free society and lack an obvious regional role model. I fear, alas, that Arab culture is simply immune to modern democratic norms - at least for the foreseeable future. That doesn't mean we shouldn't discourage democrats or liberals; but that we should have no illusions about their viability in Arab society. Mercifully, the Middle East is not all Arab dysfunction. The Turks, the Jews, the Kurds and the Persians offer much hope. It seems to me we should be investing in those places that have a chance, rather than further antagonizing those regions that have yet to develop any politics but violence, paranoia and graft.

Leave aside the fact that "Arab" means hundreds of millions of people. These people live right next to his envisaged "arc of hope", and they live pretty close to Europe as well. The only way to keep a lid on all the potential problems would be to have a bunch of repressive dictators in charge of Arab countries.

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