Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The curse of God

Anti-American riots all over the Muslim world provoked by the deranged output of a phony ‘filmmaker’ who also happens to be a drug dealer, serial fraudster and government informant are a sad diversion of the Arab spring. The incidents may die down, but it’s worth remembering that the Iranian revolution of 1979 went down this road into its present unenviable state when the wacko brigades decided that the U.S. embassy should be stormed and its occupants made hostages. Iran has never recovered from that dumb move, and the leaders of Islam-based resistance to the region’s tyrants, like Egyptian president Morsi, have to decide whether they want to score cheap points over non-issues like the YouTube video or act like grown-ups.

Morsi’s opportunistic wink-wink at the embassy attack in Cairo cost him a lot, including a telephone spanking from a rather important person in Washington, D.C., and the abrupt departure of a western business delegation looking for ways to invest in Egypt. His country is in no condition to fritter away opportunities for growth given the crushing poverty and unemployment that his Muslim government is going to have to address. Religious fervor has a lot of appeal, but eventually people kind of want food, too.

The religious nuttiness is also painfully familiar after decades of inflamed, martyrdom from the Christian zealots here. Just like the Allah-charged masses, indignant believers think that improper treatments of their holy symbols give them the right to toss bombs on the infidel. We do it more elegantly, as the Mittster would say, by waging deadly wars against Christ’s enemies in Iraq, Yemen or the mountains of Pakistan while the bearded ones can only manage to get an RPG into a diplomat’s car. But it’s the same spirit of self-righteous narcissism animating both.

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