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Friday, October 19, 2018

Desert Tribalism

By Sam Huntington

I was reading earlier about Arabian history. The periodical suggests that while human beings lived in this region of the world up to 125,000 years ago, its primary migration originated from Africa around 75,000 years ago. As the human population evolved, the area of present-day Saudi Arabia became the epicenter of animal domestication, particularly horses, sheep, goats, dogs, ostriches, and falcons. It was a tribal culture, which is not the same thing as being a civilization. I do admit that the area has an interesting history but wonder where all the humans went.

The Saudis don’t act very humane, nor do they appear civilized as most people understand that term. Saudi Arabia today continues to engage in slavery (although it’s cleverly concealed and therefore hard to detect), public killings are common, and there continues to exist a society that is comfortable with torture and summary execution. Saudi Arabia is not alone in this depravity, since a casual look at almost every Arab population in the Middle East reveals near-identical barbaric behaviors.

The world may be justified looking upon the disappearance (and suspected murder) of Jamal Khashoggi with abhorrence and disgust, but no one with an ounce of brains should be shocked. The Saudis may be rich beyond our imaginations, but they certainly are not a civilized people. But before we all break out our crying towels, a closer look at Jamal Khashoggi is appropriate.

John R. Bradly, writing for Spectator, tells us that the dissident’s fate tells us a lot about Saudi Arabia and the rise of the mobster state. His article is titled, “What the media aren’t telling you about Jamal Khashoggi.” It is a worthy read.

I certainly do not think we should be cutting people into pieces, but neither do I think that we should be attempting to portray this man as an innocent victim of Saudi mobsterism. He was far from innocent and I am bothered that he was so easily accepted as an ordinary journalist by any American, much less his employer, The Washington Post. More than this, and completely unrelated to the barbarism associated with the alleged criminal activity, why on earth are we selling advanced military technology to the Saudis?

27 comments:

  1. Mohammedans killing other mohammedans. Nothing new under the sun!

    Specifically with regard to the Khashoggi case, there are no good players here. None!

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  2. The Bradley article is excellent. I don't know how much of it is verifiable fact, but reading it helps one understand what a complex area the ME is. I am sick of dullards in this country stupidly casting such events in terms of Republican-Democrat domestic US politics. That actually lessens our understanding.

    One of the many ironies of this story: It happened in Turkey, home of brutal islamist tyrant Erdogan, who has killed probably hundreds, and tortured and jailed tens of thousands, including journalists.

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  3. In his own words

    Our meddling in Middle Eastern affairs has never favored the promotion of any steps toward democracy.

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    1. We should acknowledge two things about Jamal Khashoggi: first, he was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and second, he was an operative for Saudi intelligence for 24-years. In saying this, I mean to suggest that he was not an impartial observer; he was an Islamist —which is someone who embraces Islam as a political movement that is itself guided by a selective range of religious doctrines. As part of the Muslim Brotherhood, Khashoggi rejected the “corruption” of western philosophy, politics, and society. If the west rejects the Muslim Brotherhood (and I believe that it should), it is because everything these people stand for conflicts with American political, religious, and cultural principles. They are, in essence, incompatible philosophies.

      I certainly agree that the United States has “meddled” in the affairs of the Middle East. I personally wish it were otherwise. I do not feel the need to save these heathens from themselves, but I am convinced that the meddling of the US and other western nations was encouraged by Muslim leadership in Saudi Arabia and that this leadership benefitted from it in important ways. That the meddling proved detrimental to the long-term interests of the United States goes without saying.

      Interesting article, however. I am unable to embrace every one of his contentions but knowing the real Khashoggi offers balance to what he wrote. “The eradication of the Muslim Brotherhood is nothing less than an abolition of democracy and a guarantee that Arabs will continue living under authoritarian and corrupt regimes.” Any democracy predicated on the tyranny of religious extremism is something other than democracy. We seem to have adopted this notion that if a citizen is allowed to vote for a range of politicians, then we’ve somehow achieved democracy. This is only partly true. If in the course of elections, the people choose an extremist candidate from a field of extremist candidates, there is no real choice and therefore, no real democracy is taking place. This is the lesson taught to Condoleezza Rice, when she insisted democratic elections in Palestine. She achieved that, of course, and the Palestinians elected the most extreme candidate as Chairman of the PLO.

      Sam H.

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    2. Democracy????????

      You sound downright Bushian, bewailing the fact that we don't push foreign concepts on the benighted middle easterners.

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    3. Muslim Brotherhood is just another flavor of islamist totalitarianism.

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  4. Why am I just hearing about this guy? I'll be doing some research.

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  5. The Saudi's are only rivaled by Iran in terms of drivers of regional instability and radical Islam. It's a near-criminal act that we sell top tier weaponry and technology to them.

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    1. It's a devil's bargain. Pick a bastard and use them to go after the other bastards.

      Supposedly they are dialing back the Wahhabism. Do you believe it?

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    2. Supposedly they are dialing back the Wahhabism. Do you believe it?

      Not for a second.

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    3. Me either ...

      Sam H.

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    4. The Saudis are an elite group of Islamic supremacists in that they own the Land of Allah (the Arabian Peninsula). They believe themselves to be the closest to Allah and the true meaning of the Quran and, therefore, superior to all other Sunni Moslems.

      Wahhabism is the least diluted form of Sunni Islamic supremacism.

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    5. Two thngs crossed my mind as I read the abve exchange:

      REALPOLITIK ALWAYS TRUMPS ETHICS and IDEALISM

      "BUSINESS is BUSINESS!


      That may be regrettable, but it's just the way of the world.

      You might just as well expect a waterfall to reverse direction and climb back up into its source than to entertain any hope that human nature will cease to be what it is.

      The brightest and most successful people learn to accept that, face it, and then find ways to work around it so that tt works to their to their greatest possible advantage. No easy task, and that's why so few become truly successful.

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  6. "why on earth are we selling advanced military technology to the Saudis?"
    Iran.

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    1. It's wasted effort if they never use it to try and annihilate each other.....it just continues to mire us in costly fringe conflicts while China prepares for the coming war.

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    2. I understand your point concerning military engagement but the question regards sales.

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    3. The House of Saud is as unstable as was the House of Pahlavi, and even more untrustworthy. We armed Tehran the day the Shah was overthrown. The same can easily occur in Riyadh.

      I'd rather not equip a future Wahhabi State. Of course, given the ties between Baghdad and Tehran, the Iranians have everything we've sold to Iraq....and have already begun reverse-engineering our export equipment.

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  7. We sell...because we can. It's what capitalists do.

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    1. btw - I recommend that everyone buy a pink pussy-hat to wear for Halloween this year. Democrats will see so many "progressives" that they might stay home on Nov 6th...

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    2. I'd much prefer to start a boldly assertive DICKHEAD movement, myself

      ];^}>

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  8. Ask Gaddafi who was tortured and murdered by a mob - in the name of Hillary Clinton- if his torture was any less unpleasant than this fellow. As I recall he was sodomized with a stick up his rectum. See, we just don't slice and dice. Let us not forget her cackle.. we came, we saw, he's dead. Ha Ha.

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    Replies
    1. What a horrible woman is Hillary Clinton. We've not seen the last of her yet.

      Sam H.

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    2. Same as Ambassador Stevens?
      Less outrage then.

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  9. Thank you for the link to the article. Excellent reading, balanced and nuanced.

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