Here is an amazing video (with subtitles) of an Arab talk show on al-Jazeera. The vitriol makes Sean Hannity at his all time worst look like Mr. Rogers. The transcript is here.
If this is typical of the dialog between these two branches of Islam, I don’t see any way out of the crisis in Iraq. It makes me realize the huge cultural divide that exists between them and us. They think differently, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just that we can’t possibly understand where they’re coming from since we weren’t reared in that culture.
To show you what I mean, here’s a quote from the guy defending Saddam:
Mish’an Al-Jabouri: As you know, Saddam executed my own brother and many of my relatives. He executed the uncle of my children, but the way he was executed proved Saddam was a brave man. He has truly become our martyr, and we will visit his grave like the graves of the righteous.
Arabs obviously place a much higher premium on bravery and what they consider honor than we do here in the West. I can’t image honoring a person who had my brother, the uncle of my children, along with many others of my relatives executed irrespective of how bravely he went to his death. I would still think him a swine and would dance on his grave.
When the degree of animosity exists between the two groups of Muslims in Iraq that we see demonstrated on this video, how can we possibly bring these groups together to live in peace. They desparately want a religious war in Iraq; I say let’s hit the road and let them have it. I don’t believe Bush’s call for a ‘surge’ in troops is going to do the trick against these ancient tribal hatreds, so why continue to get our kids killed over there? Let’s get out and let them have the religious civil war they all seem to want so much.
I was for the war in the beginning (for humanitarian reasons, if nothing else), but I had made the mistake of thinking that people from a totally different culture would respond to the overthrow of a tyrant in the same way I would. Big mistake on my part. I was hoping the war would be a replay of our successful intervention in Bosnia to prevent the continued Serbian slaughter of Muslims (ethnic cleansing, they called it). So much for wishful thinking.