are the Arabs really this stupid? sometimes i wonder. jonah golberg thinks some of it has to do with a sort of “mass stockholm syndrome” or too much self-esteem:

The Arab world is a basket case, economically and politically (morality we can debate another day). One handy statistic: If you subtract oil, the total exports of the Arab world — i.e., the 500 million people comprising all of North Africa and the Middle East, minus Israel — amount to less than those of Finland: a country with one hundredth the population. So convinced that some outside force — imperialists, Jews, oil companies, America, the CIA — is responsible for the failings of their once-great civilization, Arabs cannot handle any blow to their self-esteem. It’s not so much dead Arabs which grates on their psyche but, the sting to their pride which comes when non-Muslim, non-Arabs do the killing. This is what makes smart people act stupid….

….For that’s what this is, a rescue mission. It may have been launched out of American self-interest, but that should make no difference to the Iraqis. And I still hope that the Iraqis will snap out of it and recognize we’re there to help. Indeed, if they greet the U.S. with gratitude there really will be no end to American charity and assistance. We can point to Japan, South Korea, and Germany as evidence of the prosperity and decency we can help usher in. Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, et al., can offer only Lebanon or some phantasmagorical Brigadoon plucked from the fantasies of jihadists. To those who can see clearly the interests of their children, this should not be a hard choice.

the true test will be how the 5 million, outside the zombie saddamists, react to the liberation of baghdad in the coming days. i’m not too optimistic, but my prayers are with them to see the good intentions in our soldiers’ eyes.

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