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Thoughts Online Magazine
Collected Articles on Culture & Politics
Compulsive Losers 
31st-Dec-2006 06:08 am
Once again, Palestinians have revealed their preferences: anyone but America, anyone at all. In this case, it shows up as mourning the passing of Saddam. It's a good rule of thumb that the Palestinians are on "the other side", whatever sides you're describing. I'm waiting for the headline, "Alien Menace to Wipe Out Humanity: Praised by Palestinian Authority."

UPDATE:A reminder of why they are so off base. If all you have on your side is a New York Times pity party, you're in trouble.

Like many another dictator before him, Saddam so sealed himself off from his own people, in his scores of palaces, and on his carefully staged, video-recorded walkabouts among crowds of ululating citizens, that he seemed never to grasp, even in the extremities of his last weeks, how hated he was by his people. In the courtroom, he insisted, repeatedly, that he remained Iraq’s lawful president and thus immune to prosecution, even as the judges responded by calling him “ex-president” and ordering him to sit down. He was sustained in this make-believe world by his former acolytes, who would stand in the dark as he entered, greeting him with expressions of undying fealty.

UPDATE: A suggestion that we should refer to them officially as an enemy country. I'd suggest taking it seriously.
31st-Dec-2006 06:00 pm (UTC) - Cultural Evolution in Action
The Palestinians have shown an extraordinary talent, starting in 1948, for putting themselves on the losing side of history. Their cause truly has no hope, because they won't acknowledge Israel's right to exist and the Israelis are the only Power who would even consider giving them land.

They don't seem to grasp that, if the Arabs actually do succeed in destroying Israel, the Palestinians won't get their land back -- it will instead go as booty to whichever Arab nations achieve the conquest. And, if the Arabs try to destroy Israel and the Palestinians (predictably) cooperate with the attack, the victorious Israelis may simply lose their remaining tolerance and kick the Palestinians out of Israeli-controlled territory for good.

There is a self-selection effect here. The smart and sane Arabs who lived within the territory that became Israel long ago either (1) became Israeli citizens or (2) emigrated to other lands. Those who are left behind are the stupid and insane Arabs, those who actually want to spend their lives fighting a hopeless and pointless war.

The other Arabs despise the Palestinians. They find them useful tools against the Israelis, who they hate more, but it is a measure of the general and powerful Arab contempt for the Palestinians that they have, for the most part, not been accepted as citizens in any other Arab countries.

In a way, it is sad: the reason why they so pathetically worshipped Saddam was that Saddam offered them hope. But we mustn't pity the Palestinians too much -- they are the scorpions of the tale of the Frog and the Scorpion, who lash out even at their rescuers (look at what happened in Jordan and Lebanon) -- because it is their nature.

Failures often make their own failure.
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