The failure of a civilization

Ralph Peters:


" Arab civilization has failed.

"Disguised in part by the trappings of oil wealth, the Middle East has become humanity's sinkhole, less promising, if richer, than Africa. But no facade of garish hotels in the hollow states that line the Persian Gulf, and no amount of full-page advertisements funded by the Saudi government, can hide the truth any longer: The Arab Middle East has become the world's first entirely parasitical culture; all it does is to imitate poorly, consume voraciously, spit hatred, export death and create nothing.

"Arab civilization offers its people no promising future, only rhetoric about a past whose achievements have been as exaggerated as they were impermanent. The present is a bloody, heartless muddle.

"For all the oil wealth and expatriate university degrees, for all the hired-in expertise and Western 'engagement,' Arab civilization has degenerated to a point where it provides the rest of humanity nothing useful of its own design - while offering its own citizens only a culture of blame, corruption and lethargy.

"It's a matter of culture, not race. In the free atmosphere of America, Arabs do as well as anyone else. All populations have their share of talent - but the oppressive environment of the Middle East enervates those individuals it does not crush entirely.

"Iraq has been given a chance to break free of the thrall of a bankrupt culture, to establish a rule-of-law democratic government observant of human rights. But the chances are increasingly good that Iraq's Arabs will fail to achieve and maintain even minimal standards of good governance.

" The time has not yet come, but, contrary to the sort of diplomatic wisdom that so long protected Saddam, we can walk away if Iraq's Arabs refuse to help themselves. And we can break up the country to protect the Kurds - a far better solution than turning Iraq over to the venal brokers of the United Nations.

"The failure of Arab civilization in our time is the greatest such disaster in mankind's history. And, bitter though we find the proposition, the failure is so colossal that it cannot be neatly contained. Whether in Iraq today or elsewhere tomorrow, we cannot fully extract ourselves from this problem simply because our enemies won't let go.

"If Iraq chooses failure, we can leave. But we'll be back, somewhere in the Middle East. Because, as we saw on 9/11, the Middle East will continue to come to us. Blame is the opium of the Arabs, and the sweetest blame for their failures is that directed at the United States (and, of course, Israel). It is our power itself, not its uses, that enrages Arabs trapped in their self-made weakness."


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