Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Wrong Thing

After seeing Madeleine Albright on "The Daily Show":

According to almost every Iraqi, the Americans "came as liberators and now they are occupiers." For Americans occupation conjures images of postwar Germany or Japan, and the repair of damaged societies. In Arabin, tahrir, or liberation, and ihtilal, or occupation, have greater moral and emotional significance. Ihtilal means the Crusaders who slaughtered Muslims, Jews, and Orthodox Christians, it means the Mongols who sacked Baghdad in the thirteenth century, it means the British imperialists who divided the spoils of the Ottoman Empire with the French, and it means the Israelis in southern Lebanon and Palestine. It is hard for Americans to understand just how deeply they are hated by ordinary Iraqis.
Nir Rosen, In the Belly of the Green Bird (New York: Simon & Schuster 2006), p. 3.

Americans long to liberate the world from history, as they feel they have been liberated. That is our fundamental problem. We mistake our ignorance of history for purity of heart, and then we will one thing.

Addendum: no surprise, then, that we are led into war by people like Kenneth Pollsck.

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