Monday, July 24, 2006


The Plight of the Living Dead

Mark Steyn casts a critical eye on Arab state reluctance to turn (as a block) against Israel in the latest crisis, and suggests that Arabs may not be happy with the monster their anti-Israeli policies have created.

Here’s where Steyn gets started:

A few years back, when folks talked airily about "the Middle East peace process" and "a two-state solution," I used to say that the trouble was the Palestinians saw a two-state solution as an interim stage en route to a one-state solution. I underestimated Islamist depravity. As we now see in Gaza and southern Lebanon, any two-state solution would be an interim stage en route to a no-state solution.

In one of the most admirably straightforward of Islamist declarations, Hussein Massawi, the Hezbollah leader behind the slaughter of U.S. and French forces 20 years ago, put it this way:

"We are not fighting so that you will offer us something. We are fighting to eliminate you."

This just gets Steyn warmed up. The public declarations of terrorist intent have long served as the best possible explanation for what our enemies have in mind, and Steyn steadfastly makes the point: listen to what our enemies are saying. In the case of those who have at times been our enemies, who may now have an opportunity to reconsider, equally instructive is what’s not said.

What’s not happening are Middle Eastern Arab state denunciations of Israeli provocation and aggression. No public exhortations to fellow Muslim warriors, to annihilate the hated Zionist Oppressor.

Why the Arab State reluctance to revert to form? According to Steyn, the horror of their own inaction, and the monstrous creature it has birthed:

But Saudi-Egyptian-Jordanian opportunism on Palestine has caught up with them: It's finally dawned on them that a strategy of consciously avoiding resolution of the "Palestinian question" has helped deliver Gaza, and Lebanon and Syria, into the hands of a regime that's a far bigger threat to the Arab world than the Zionist Entity. Cairo and Co. grew so accustomed to whining about the Palestinian pseudo-crisis decade in decade out that it never occurred to them that they might face a real crisis one day: a Middle East dominated by an apocalyptic Iran and its local enforcers, in which Arab self-rule turns out to have been a mere interlude between the Ottoman sultans and the eternal eclipse of a Persian nuclear umbrella. The Zionists got out of Gaza and it's now Talibanistan redux. The Zionists got out of Lebanon and the most powerful force in the country (with an ever-growing demographic advantage) are Iran's Shia enforcers. There haven't been any Zionists anywhere near Damascus in 60 years and Syria is in effect Iran's first Sunni Arab prison bitch. For the other regimes in the region, Gaza, Lebanon and Syria are dead states that have risen as vampires.

I have to say, any time you can compare nations to the living dead, you’re in rare rhetorical form. And in these cases, surely on target.

Other commentators: The Volokh Conspiracy, Blue Crab Boulevard.

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