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January 24, 2013

Egyptian President Morsi: You Know, You Shouldn't Believe Every Anti-Semitic Statement Attributed To Me, Because the Jews Control Your Media

Makes sense.

“He was attempting to explain himself . . . then he said, ‘Well, I think we all know that the media in the United States has made a big deal of this and we know the media of the United States is controlled by certain forces and they don’t view me favorably,’” Coons said. [ . . . ]

“He did not say [the Jews], but I watched as the other senators physically recoiled, as did I,” he said. “I thought it was impossible to draw any other conclusion.” [ . . . ]

“The conversation got so heated that eventually Senator McCain said to the group, ‘OK, we’ve pressed him as hard as we can while being in the boundaries of diplomacy,’” Coons said. “We then went on to discuss a whole range of other topics.”

He was being asked about his various comments on Jews, including his 2010 exhortation that babies must be "nursed on hatred for the Jews."

W.R. Meade observes:

he reality is that insane anti-Jewish conspiracy theories are the mother’s milk of political analysis in Egypt and in much of the rest of the Middle East. The emotional, visceral reaction against what is seen as Israel’s shaming, alien presence in the Arab world has fused with ugly and backward western anti-Semitism to create a turbo-charged fear and hatred of Jewish influence and Jewish power. A political and religious culture which cannot help but see the survival of a Jewish state in the region as a badge of humiliation and failure takes comfort in exaggerated ideas about Jewish power.

It is that, but more fundamentally: The Muslim world is currently very primitive. What are the only two important occupations in a primitive culture? The Warrior, and The Shaman. Advanced cultures still have those occupations, of course. But in advanced cultures, The Warrior becomes The Soldier, an occupation marked by professionalism and ethics and discipline more than individual glory; so too do Shamans become priests, and try to become wise like the aged man, rather than angry like the young man.

Furthermore, and more crucially: In an advanced culture there are many occupations which are valued, and many, many are valued more highly than The Warrior and The Shaman. In fact, it's a mark of an advanced culture that traditionalists have to argue strenuously on behalf of the importance of Soldiers and Preachers, because general society tends to look down on them.

In an advanced culture, there are hundreds of ways a man can feel successful in his work; in more primitive ones, the only pathways open are that of The Warrior or The Shaman. Women, of course, have no roles at all open to them for success in work; their only pathway to success is through motherhood (aka, producing Strong Warriors and Fire-Breathing Shamans).

The Muslim world is locked into a primitive paradigm in which The Warrior is the secondmost cherished personage in the culture, but -- here's where the psychological problems start creeping up -- but they're not accomplished in war and do not have the tradition of success that a warrior culture needs to feel healthy and good about itself.

If you're very bad at one of the only things you credit as making a man worthy, then of course your lives will be filled with daily humiliations.

This is not a problem that will be fixed soon. The pathologies of cultures are generally rooted in that culture's failures, and its insecurities and inferiority complexes about those failures, and correcting social failures is a process that takes decades, not years -- if it ever happens at all.

A Little Background: I learned something when I visited Beirut. A professor explained there was a certain inferiority complex (or perhaps he used a less derogatory word) in Arab Muslims because their region was dominated by three local Great Powers -- Turkey, Iran, and Israel -- and none of them was Arab. The Turks are Turks (whatever they are, I don't know, I'm not Joe Turkeman), Iranians are Persian, and Israelis are, of course, "Other."

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posted by Ace at 12:34 PM

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