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Good read. You gain an insight not realized by reading the left dominated media outlets.

I have come across three categories of Arab-Americans in my travels: those who believe in freedom, and those who don't. Those who think Arabs can run their own countries, and those who don't. And those who hate Israel, and those who don't. I didn't know much about any of this as a Lebanese kid growing up in New Jersey. But I found out how deep the divisions between Arab-Americans ran when I wrote my first pro-Israel column for my college paper.

I defended Israel on some point I've long forgotten, but what I didn't forget was the backlash I received from fellow Arabs. First came the letters, then the insults. It was as if I'd broken a secret code that Arabs never speak ill of other Arabs in public. Or kindly about Israel.

The backlash stunned me. I had betrayed the feeling that unites so many Arabs: hatred of Israel. I also took heat from white liberals, some of whom were Jews, who were disappointed that an Arab had sided with Israel.

Black people have a cruel term for other black people who challenge the accepted narrative on race relations in America. "Uncle Tom" is used to shame them to silence.

If there were such a term for Arabs, it would be "Uncle Ahmed." And that is how fellow Arabs viewed me. I was the self-hating Arab who sold out his people, even as some friends conceded privately that they agreed with me.

The fact is, all Arabs don't look alike or think alike. We are not a universal group. But some of us believe in a universal truth: that every Arab deserves to live in freedom. Some of us want Arab countries to be more like America and Israel, places where the individual can flourish.

However, say those words to some Arabs and they are shocked. I ascribe this to self-doubt, a lack of confidence, and a deep-seated insecurity that maybe, just maybe, Arabs won't be very good at the self-governance thing. That maybe, just maybe, Arab nations won't be capable of building democratic cultures that engender the flourishing of human freedom.

When millions of Arabs in Iraq marched to the polls in 2005, it was a moment in history that confounded many Arab-Americans. And the American Left. One of the world's most brutal dictators had been toppled, and a former prison state held free elections.

Where was the jubilation? Rather than celebrate, most Arabs -- and white academics -- spoke about the balance of power in the region, and how the ouster of Saddam Hussein would embolden Iran and other dictators. It was all gloom.

The rank bigotry of low expectations on display was repulsive to any self-respecting Arab. As if by virtue of being Arabs, the people of Iraq were incapable of running their own country.

What was also dismissed by so many Arab-Americans and leftist academics was the effect those elections would have on the Arabs living in the region.

Regrettably, many on the Right were not consistent on the freedom front either. While he was busy liberating Iraq, President Bush was supporting dictatorships like Hosni Mubarak's all over the Middle East.

And what did we get for such efforts? While Mubarak was stifling dissent at every turn, the one group not afraid to spread its message was the Muslim Brotherhood. Mubarak then used them as a boogeyman to maintain his grip on the Egyptian people.

Dictatorships like Mubarak's were supported by one democracy -- America -- in the name of defending another -- Israel -- based on the assumption that Arabs could not govern themselves.

Arabs were not so obtuse as to not notice the implicit bigotry that informed such policies. Even if the source of some of that thinking came from us Arabs ourselves.

What America needs to do now is support a freedom agenda abroad, including that part of the world that counts Arabs as their inhabitants. If Arab countries like Iraq -- and now Egypt -- can unleash the God-given talents of its people and extract wealth not just from the ground but its citizens as well, watch Arab self- doubt begin to fade. And with it, anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism, too.

And watch the power that groups like the Muslim Brotherhood hold over a captive audience disappear.

There will be tough times ahead in Egypt, no doubt. Things may get worse before they get better. But building democratic institutions and spreading freedom is the only hope for lasting peace in the Middle East. That is something people of all nationalities -- Arabs included -- can pray for.

Read more at the Washington Examiner:

3,516 Posts
I only like their women :nuts:

Bid Tah Tah'z out front yah know
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