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The tragedy of the Arabs
The Economist, by Staff

Original Article

Posted By:StormCnter, 7/5/2014 4:10:55 AM

A THOUSAND years ago, the great cities of Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo took turns to race ahead of the Western world. Islam and innovation were twins. The various Arab caliphates were dynamic superpowers—beacons of learning, tolerance and trade. Yet today the Arabs are in a wretched state. Even as Asia, Latin America and Africa advance, the Middle East is held back by despotism and convulsed by war. Hopes soared three years ago, when a wave of unrest across the region led to the overthrow of four dictators—in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen—and to a clamour for change elsewhere, notably in Syria.

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: provide, 7/5/2014 7:13:45 AM     (No. 9911652)

The only reason we even care is the oil. Their normal state is tyranny and warfare.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: TunnelRat, 7/5/2014 7:19:51 AM     (No. 9911658)

The article ends on a wistful note of hope that shall never be fulfilled...

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Reply 3 - Posted by: Judith, 7/5/2014 8:18:16 AM     (No. 9911707)

For anyone who bothered to pay attention to history, they would find these arab muslims were not the innovators they claim to be. Rather they conquered countries/cultures that were advanced in all other ways BUT their military and "acquired" the advancements the victims had developed.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Newtsche, 7/5/2014 8:34:12 AM     (No. 9911720)

A history of hapless

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Reply 5 - Posted by: merc55h, 7/5/2014 8:43:56 AM     (No. 9911724)

Everything is relative. In the context of the middle ages the Arabs might have been more advanced than Europe, certainly in line with #3´s comment. Unfortunately for the Arabs times have changed and they haven´t.

Were it not for their good fortune to be sitting on top of a lot of oil they´d still be living in mud huts. Their religion doesn´t help them much either. The Reformation was the beginning of the ascendance of Europe. If you tried ´Reformation´ in Mohammedanism they´d cut off your head.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: smithereens, 7/5/2014 9:28:12 AM     (No. 9911753)

It takes only a casual knowledge of the history of Islam to know that the first three sentences of this article are utterly dilusional! "Dynamic superpowers"? "Beacons of learning, tolerance and trade"? Who writes this stuff?!

Historically, Islam has been a destroyer of learning and tolerance, and its most prolific trade was slavery.

Yeah, it´s only now that Muslims have strayed and have hijacked the religion of peace. s/o

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Reply 7 - Posted by: Bur Oak, 7/5/2014 9:37:46 AM     (No. 9911765)

From what I´ve observed the only area of Islam innovation is in the design and manufacture of suicide bombs.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: billp, 7/5/2014 9:41:11 AM     (No. 9911769)



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Reply 9 - Posted by: billp, 7/5/2014 9:46:18 AM     (No. 9911776)

Yes, as long as the Communists were overrunning other nations and their respective assets (of all sorts), they too appeared to be a dynamic and progressive force. It´s only when they can find no more to steal that these oppressive movements exhibit their true character.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: Democracy First, 7/5/2014 11:59:50 AM     (No. 9911937)

Author is speaking of the era about 1000 years ago to 500 years ago.... Then the rot, corruption and stagnation set in. Author speaks of the need for reform and renewal. Rather than criticising the article, encourage people to read it. 99% of it is spot on, and it is fair criticism, untinged by bigoted bias. I know many Arabs, Christian and Muslim, who would heartily agree with this article...who live in the US and in the Middle East. Extremism never benefited anyone except those enforcing it....just like Communism. Education and empowering women are the answer. Encourage it, don´t p*ss all over it and shoot the messenger.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: toddh, 7/5/2014 12:52:52 PM     (No. 9911966)

#7 - The modern suicide belt seems to be an innovation of the Tamil Tigers.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: jeffkinnh, 7/5/2014 1:56:20 PM     (No. 9912036)

The problem is that the Arab world is in angry chaos. IF we could turn away from them and let them work it out amongst themselves, that might be a tragic but workable solution. People would eventually ask, why didn´t you stop them from killing each other? But the answer is, if people are determined to live in hate and chaos, they will. Our inner cities have become like this.

The problem is, in the modern world, it is impossible to keep the fanatics in their own part of the world. They decide to come over here and crash airliners into buildings. It becomes OUR problem.

It seems to me that half of Bush´s solution was right, to go there and clean their clocks. The part that was wrong was to attempt to steer them to democracy. They don´t understand it and they are not willing to work to support it. We no longer need their oil. We should withdraw. When they attack the US or Israel we should apply the first part of Bush´s solution with EXTREME vigor and then withdraw. Repeat it as necessary. It won´t be a perfect solution but far better than the ongoing insanity we are part of now. Allowing them to kill each other will feel bad to us, not very humanitarian and all that. But you can´t fix it for them. They only resent you for trying.

Maybe someday they will find their way but that could take centuries.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: Rumblehog, 7/5/2014 2:43:58 PM     (No. 9912076)

Would someone please tell me exactly what inventions the Arabs ever made during their age of "enlightenment"?

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Reply 14 - Posted by: Penney, 7/5/2014 3:14:37 PM     (No. 9912099)

Their previous greatness and positive contributions to civilization seem to have ended when they embraced Islam & a, ´culture of death.´

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