Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

A former Prime Minister of Libya has written a fantastic piece about the need for Arab reform. Excerpted in MEMRI.

"What we saw in the West could have opened our eyes regarding one truth - that they progress because they expose their [own] flaws... This could have made us sense the importance of exposing flaws, and convinced us that it is impossible to take care of [a problem] unless it is exposed."

"But this has had no effect whatsoever on our way of thought... [O]ur positions regarding the facts of our lives remain unchanged. Furthermore, we continue to convince ourselves that those who progress are merely nations full of problems and flaws. We have always acted as if our problems and flaws do not exist as long as we can hide them behind the smokescreen of memories of [ancient Arab-Islamic] civilization with its lofty values, of which all that remains are sermons in the mosques and media products."

"...All the movements calling for Arab [unity] in our era thought this could be accomplished by 'mobilizing [supportive] throats' and memorizing slogans while ignoring that [Arab unity] is a project difficult to actualize as long as there is no free individual with the right to vote. Thus, calls for unity remain part of the 'revolutionary' activity, and they fill our ears while preventing us from expressing an opinion - even about electing a neighborhood mukhtar or a tribal sheikh."

"In the absence of individual rights, talk of unity is an illusion - an attempt to cross the river before we have built the bridges."

"We think we can reach the finish line without actually running the race. This has impelled us, and still impels us, to quarrel with the U.S., which we think is our rival. Accordingly, we have mobilized all the energies of rage to punish it without engaging in achieving the capability that will allow us to match this superpower - exactly as we did, and still do, with regard to the state of the Jews."

"Have we not been quarrelling with Israel for 50 years or more, with burning tongues and throats of fire? [We do this] without considering that what we are doing is, in effect, [preoccupation] with the 'other,' and that it would be better for us to persevere in, first of all, dealing with our [own] flaws and defects and trying to obtain the capabilities that will make us an equal rival, capable of confronting [Israel]."

< email | 6/26/2002 11:35:00 PM | link

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