Sunday, October 19, 2003

FRIEDMAN AND DEMOCRACY: I don't know about this guy, but he does sounds less moronic than usual. The first paragraph of his latest column just confuses me:

should have known something was up when a Saudi diplomat recently asked me, "Do you know what kind of woman is most sought after as a wife by Saudi men today?" No, I said, what kind? "A woman with a job."
Okay, admit it: Saudi Arabia would be the last Arab country you'd expect to start the implantation of the Arab Human Development Report. He says that it should implemented from the outside, while the authors of the report themselves think it should be done from the inside. But how is this related to 9/11 and the "cause of terrorism?" The thinking goes that there's something wrong in general in the Arab world which causes this huge resentment against the West and especially the United States. But is it? We can confirm the following: there is no Arab democracy, Arab women are uniformly an oppressed majority, and in science and technology every Arab state is behind the rest of the world. My question: how does this cause and create terrorism and terrorists? Mohammad Atta and 18 other men were cut off from their original countries for years. Atta was radicalized in a mosque in Berlin, not Cairo. After that, he was brainwashed in al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan. Atta went to Berlin to get an engineering degree. To the Fareed Zakarias and Tom Friendmans out there: are the flaws pointed out in the report related to terrorism and if so, how?

And I'm still not sure how one democratic can change the whole region. Is Washington really serious about this whole deal? Brian Ulrich notes the same thing:
A current goal of U.S. foreign policy is to promote democracy in the Arab world. Egypt is one of the largest recipients of U.S. aid. Why is the Bush administration not pressuring Egypt to become more democratic?
Do the neo-cons really want a democratic Arab world or are they out to bring the Middle East crashing down, giving Mecca and Medina to Osama bin Laden and seize the Saudi oil-fields?

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