Iraq: May 8, 2005

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The Sunni Arab media in the Middle East has gotten tired of blaming the United States for everything that doesn't work in Iraq. More and more reporting and editorials blame Iraq's Sunni Arabs for the terrorism, corruption and tyranny in Iraq, and other parts of the Middle East. This is part of a trend, the growing popularity of Arabs taking responsibility for their actions. This is a radical concept in Middle Eastern politics. For several generations, all problems were blamed on other forces. The list of the blameworthy was long; the United States, the West, Colonialism, Infidels (non Moslems, especially Jews), Capitalism, the CIA, Israel, Democracy and many others too absurd to mention. Giving up this crutch is not popular in the Middle East. Oil wealth has made it possible to sustain, for decades, the belief of all these conspiracies to keep the Arab people down and powerless.  But the invasion of Iraq, and the overthrow of Saddam, forced Arabs to confront their long support for a tyrannical butcher like Saddam. Here was a dictator who knew how to play the blame game, and position himself as an Arab  "hero." Saddam's supporters turned to terrorism to restore themselves to power. Two years of killing Iraqis has shamed an increasing number of Arabs into admitting that this is an Arab problem, not the fault of the United States (who, in the most popular delusion, should have waved a magic wand and made all problems in Iraq disappear.) Even the Sunni Arab media are in awe of the Iraqi Shia and Kurds, for not slaughtering large numbers of Sunni Arabs in response to the terrorism, or simply as revenge for centuries of torment at the hands of Sunni Arabs. 

 

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