Saturday, November 08, 2008

Our enemies relentlessly seek our prosperity

Arab reaction to Obama's victory is a complex stew. Here's one response worth contemplating:

“It would be no exaggeration to say that we Arabs and Muslims were the main unseen voters who decided the outcome of these elections,” wrote Abdelbari Atwan in Wednesday’s issue of the London-based pan-Arab daily newspaper Al Quds Al Arabi. He wrote, “The transformation that will begin in the U.S. starting today in various political, economic, military, and social domains may well have been delayed for decades, had the new American century been crowned with victory, and had the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan taken the directions sought by the neo-cons — in other words, had there been political stability and economic prosperity, and had the citizens of the two countries targeted by the U.S.’s designs been totally subjugated by it.”

So if the neocons had had their way, Afghanistan and Iraq would be suffering from political stability, economic prosperity, and "total subjugation" to the U.S. Reminds me a bit of George W. Bush's first inaugural, as reported in The Onion. "Our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is over..."

Funny thing is, take out the word 'total,' and these incompatible goals may not be too far from what the neocons were aiming for. Democracy, prosperity, bases, oil, pliancy. In fact, depending on your definition of subjugation, it's not a bad precis of consensus American foreign policy goals. Is Japan "subject" to the U.S.? Is Western Europe?

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