Leadership: Arab Leaders and the Credibility Gap


February12, 2007: The Arab world has a major problem with leadership. It's all about credibility, Arab leaders don't have a whole lot. That fact that most of them are despotic tyrants doesn't help much. Guys like this are accustomed to saying whatever they want, and killing anyone who objects. Free speech issues aside, the result is the tendency of Arab leaders to support fantasies and deceptions, and do so for decades. They support each others illusions as a form of professional courtesy.

A recent example of this is the Arab attempts to quell the Palestinian civil war. For example, the fact that the Saudi-Palestinian "Summit" is being held in Mecca makes it pretty clear that no one, not Hamas, Fatah, or any of the other PLO groups represents "all" Palestinians. This idea of Palestinian unity is a fiction that has been promoted for decades, even through there were always a multitude of different Palestinian groups vying for dominance, and often killing other Palestinians over the matter.

Arabs are also having a hard time dealing with the reality of Israel. For example, Arab leaders calling for Israel to renounce it's identity as a "Jewish State," blithely ignore the fact that virtually all Arab states enshrine Islam in their constitutions in some fashion, thereby essentially making them "Moslem States."

This preference for illusion over reality leads to things like Arab support for the slaughter of Moslems in Darfur, and wide scale Arab belief that the September 11, 2001 attacks were a CIA/MOSSAD plot, and that the Nazis didn't kill six million Jews during World War II.

How do you deal with leaders like this? Very carefully.


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