A Political Culture of Self-Righteous Fury

[Jerusalem Post] Jonathan Spyer - The flying shoes that greeted President Bush at his press conference in Iraq on Sunday are the latest emblem of an outlook that sees all events through the prism of a wounded sense of Arab nationalism. This political culture sanctifies anti-Western fury, and continues, half a century after decolonization, to see the Arabs as hapless victims of the West. The tremendous popularity of Hizbullah's Hassan Nasrallah and even the non-Arab Mahmoud Ahmedinejad among broad masses of Arabs is a product of this political culture. It is an undeniable fact that the individual more responsible than any other for the enfranchisement and elevation to power of the Shi'ites of Iraq is George W. Bush. The man who established a situation in which the Iraqi Shi'ite Muntadar al-Zeidi is able to work freely as a journalist, worship freely as a Shi'ite, and vote freely as a citizen was the same one at whom Zeidi chose to hurl his shoes. The peculiar political culture of self-righteous fury that bestrides the Arabic-speaking world constitutes perhaps the single largest barrier to its rational and mature development. The writer is a senior researcher at the Global Research in International Affairs Center, IDC, Herzliya.

2008-12-17 06:00:00

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