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Friday, June 28, 2013

New York Times Editorial, "Dangerous Divisions in the Arab World": They Can't Even Get Their Facts Right

Yet another JG Caesarea challenge round! Before reading today's New York Times editorial entitled "Dangerous Divisions in the Arab World" (, tell me how many times Israel is mentioned. Don't peek!

Answer: Zero. You see, Israel, after all, has absolutely nothing to do with most of the hatred, strife and conflict in the Muslim Middle East.

Okay, you want a second chance? How many times do those buffoons at The Times mention the Middle East's 30 million stateless Kurds, who for many decades have suffered discrimination and abuse in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria? Don't peek!

Answer: Again zero. But why should 30 million Kurds matter to those sitting in their ivory towers in Manhattan?

What does the Times editorial tell us? After describing the recent lynch of four Shiites in Egypt, the editorial goes on to say:

"The incident illustrates a pernicious sectarianism that was largely repressed by pre-Arab Spring dictators but that now threatens Egypt and much of the Arab world. If left unchecked by newly elected leaders who either exploit simmering historical animosities or refuse to address them constructively, divisions will worsen between Sunnis and Shiites or between Muslims and other minorities, like Christians, ensuring prolonged regional turmoil."

Hmm. It turns out, in retrospect, that Egypt's Mubarak wasn't so bad after all.

The editorial concludes:

"Regardless of what happens in Syria, leaders in neighboring countries need to move quickly to reverse the sectarian slide. That means stating unequivocally that they are committed to the equal rights of all citizens and to ensuring that Shiites and other minorities can practice their religions without fear. Such principles are embedded in the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. More broadly, it will require an acknowledgment that elections do not alone produce democracies; that governments need to be inclusive; and that nurturing hatreds, for whatever reason, inevitably backfires and makes stable societies impossible."

The leaders of Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Turkey and Egypt need to declare that "they are committed to the equal rights of all citizens and to ensuring that Shiites and other minorities can practice their religions without fear"? Oh really? Apparently unbeknownst to the editorial board of The New York Times, Shiites are a majority in Iran (where they perpetrate travesties against Sunnis, Baha'is, Christians and Kurds) and also in Iraq. Owing to the strength of the armed wing of Hezbollah funded by Iran, Lebanon's Shiites (close to 30% of the population) have also come to dictate much of the policy of that country as well.

Muslim leaders in the Middle East are now going to commit to the equal rights of all citizens? What are they smoking in the offices of The Times?

Meanwhile, Iran continues to build its first atomic bomb (see:, unperturbed by Obama.


1 comment:

  1. Obama did his bit, on LGBT rights in Senegal.
    (Lead balloon moment)

    THAT should give you a clue that it's not what anyone is smoking, but something in the water.

    ok, maybe a few are filtering that water, like the writer of this interesting historical frame:

    How long before the NYT realizes there is also a Sunni v Sunni war? 1919: the Saudi Wahhabis militarily drove the Hashemites from the Hejaz.
    1919 was quite a year for the world of islam.
    Not much has changed since the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, except I read at FP that 100,000 Syrian Circassians are now trying to emigrate back to their homeland, which is a Putin moment in the making...