There is cultural malady among the Arabs. It is feverish, spasmodic, contagious. You can see it in the rhetoric in Arab politics. You can see it in the mayhem which easily flows from that rhetoric. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) records almost all of it. Alas, for those of you who believe that peace will come easily to the Shi'a and the Sunni, to the Israelis and the Palestinians, to the royals and the military republics, the evidence is that it won't come easily at all. In fact, the evidence it that it simply won't come.
Western diplomacy assumes that political arrangements can be made for borders, for designated air space, for rules of disengagement and demilitarization, for political modalities. I think it is all a fraud.
Below is the transcript of a debate on Arab universities, carried by Al-Jazeera. It is an important topic. But the debaters are more than a little bit off their rockers, even the sane one.
Moderator: "Not a Single Arab University [is] Among the Leading 500 Universities... Our Arab Universities Are a Reflection of the Arab Reality of Wretchedness"
Moderator Faysal Al-Qassem: "How come not a single Arab university has managed to be classified among the leading 500 universities in the world? Because our Arab universities are a reflection of the Arab reality of wretchedness, tyranny, and backwardness.
"How can a nation make progress if some of its leaders are semi-illiterate, who make grammatical errors? How can a nation possibly make progress, when the money it spends on its mules, its camels, its yachts, its pleasures, its entourages, and its hunting dogs exceeds the money it allocates to science and scientists, as a critic has said?
"Once, an Arab teacher wanted to get married, and he asked for the hand of a young woman in marriage. Her father asked him what he did for a living, and he said he was a teacher. The girl's father responded: 'Hah! I rejected three taxi drivers, so how can I possibly accept a teacher?'" [...]
Al-Zu'bi: "The Arab Allocation Per Capita for Research is $4 per annum – Whereas the General World Average is About $1,000... Where Is All the Arab Money?"
Adib Al-Zu'bi: "In all these studies, the Arab universities are at the tail end of the list – both in the internal and external studies. The main reason is the lack of willpower among the decision makers to elevate Arab education to the international level. Our universities have become an extension of our elementary schools, in their teachings methods of memorization and learning by rote, and of killing and burying Arab creativity.
"The Arab allocation per capita for research is four dollars per annum, whereas the general world average is about $1,000 per annum. Israel allocates approximately $972 per capita, while we allocate four dollars.
"My question is simple: Where is all the Arab money? Where does all the money go? It goes, as you know, to line the pockets of the top officials and to stockpile weapons in rusty storehouses, which have nothing to do with war or with defending the Arab homeland."[...]