Quote Notes (#13)

Richard Fernandez on the importance of the Israeli-Palestinian ‘peace process’:

Perhaps the saddest thing about President Obama’s Middle East peace initiative is how tangential it is. R[e]uel Marc Gerecht and Anthony Cordesman examine the upheavals in the region, focusing on Egypt and Syria respectively, without even mentioning Palestine, the jewel in Kerry’s crown. It is as if one were diagnosed with cancer, but the doctors says “I can’t cure the cancer but I can manicure your nails.”

August 6, 2013admin 2 Comments »
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2 Responses to this entry

  • spandrell Says:

    I understand that the sheer functionality of East Asians is boring and unexciting, but do you really think that anything of importance will come out of the Middle East?

    Those countries are just a playground for the State Department. The perfect make-work assignment. There’s always something to fix when nothing works. And of course it’s always nicer than Africa, where nothing works.

    The only prophecy about the area that I liked was the late Conservative Swede and his Gates of Vienna pals, talking about how nuclear proliferation means that sooner or later Mecca will be nuked. It has to happens. Muslims being muslims, they will use nukes against someone they shouldn’t mess with, and over time even if it takes decades, some country will say ‘fuck it’ and just nuke the Kaaba.

    But i’m not so sure. Arabs are quite rational when you think about it. They’ll just go on with their petty infighting, infantile posturing, the odd terrorist bomb and little else. They’re not even having babies anymore. In 10 years they can’t feed themselves. In 20 even we can’t go on feeding them.


    admin Reply:

    I’m not sure why you think I’m arguing with any of this. Surely there’s enough high-pressure trouble stored up in the Islamic world to make it worth thinking about for a few days, without any need to expect the next Switzerland to spring up [sic] in Mesopotamia. Your question about the likely limits of escalation is the main driver — if Mecca getting nuked is even remotely on the cards, the world will struggle to feign total nonchalance. So it would be irresponsible to drop the topic before even getting to nuclear proliferation.

    The volatility of the present situation — whether ultimately illusory or not — generates a sense of urgency about thrashing things through, which has nothing at all to do with the region’s creative potential. (We’re probably agreed that East Asia, where vastly more impressive chunks of the future are coming from, is unlikely to go suddenly nuts and splatter radioactive blood all over the TV screen.)


    Posted on August 6th, 2013 at 2:33 pm Reply | Quote

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