What has been disturbingly revealing in trying to exchange opinions with other Europeans via the Web during the last three or four years, is the surprising amount of unabashed prejudice and anti-Occidentalism, which seems to boil down to a general distrust in democracy.
This is apparent in the systematic refusal to acknowledge historic facts, and a unilateral presentation of international events, always supported by precisely narrated, one-sided stories.

Israeli soldiers are thus presented as cruel, racist, robotic monsters, as bad, if not even worse, than the Nazis ever were.
Afghanistan would be invaded by Western imperialists (as was Iraq) for 'multinational interests'. Whoever is elected there, in whatever way, whether it be Karzaï or Abdullah, would far more likely be an American stooge than an elected representative of the Afghanis. Naturally the same applies, in this blurred vision, to the Iraqi government.

Secretly one might admire Osama bin Laden, tacitly approve of al-Qaida, and more openly, of the Taliban 'defenders of Afghanistan'. (Massoud would be a myth or a 'has been'). Hamas, of course, would represent the brave defenders of Palestinian freedom, and the Hezbollah would be the only legitimate organisation that carries the noble and weighty responsibility of the defence of Lebanon. The majority of poor prisoners remaining in Guantanamo detention camp would be misguided martyrs brutalised by the CIA, the same independant US agency that would also have been responsible for organising the 11th September attacks.

One can try to present other, more coherent view points, producing the clearest evidence of premeditated horrors and alluding to pertaining historic facts. One constantly repeats oneself, naively imagining that no one can deny what is so blatantly obvious, but all to no avail.
Nobody will prove you wrong, yet you will never be accorded even an arguable point. You will never be able to breach the thick wall of prejudice, hate, distrust and negation.

There is, or was, the constantly used expression exporting democracy, as though it were Coca Cola. As though entire nations of people are too backward to know what they are actually doing, or have never enjoyed any relative freedom before. As though democracy can be imposed like Soviet Communism, or tyrannical totalitarianism.

George W. Bush has been the overused scapegoat, ever since the back lash of al-Qaida and the insurgent henchmen after the first elections in Iraq. No one else in the myopic eyes of his critics can more fully represent 'evil'. In comparison, according to such obscured vision, Saddam Hussein would have been a poor, misunderstood martyr.

And perhaps for them, even Ahmadinejad has a point. If the Holocaust was, as the Iranian President informs the world, just a myth, it would be difficult to find someone more suitable who could incarnate an even worse Hitler, capable of making the 'myth' an even worse reality. We hear 'the Supreme Guide' Ali Khamenei of Iran subtly affirming, that the 'destructive, cancerous Zionism' is nibbling away at the 'Muslim world' which, comparing land masses between Israel and the surrounding Muslim nations is another ridiculously distorted and incredibly magnified observation that, although hateful, can hardly otherwise be taken very seriously.

But the world is blest with extremists everywhere. Even in our democracies. And Israel, of course, is a real democracy. But the difference between Israeli extremists and Palestinian extremists is that the latter are generally more idealised than criticised by the Palestinians, whereas the former are generally more criticised than idealised by the Israelis.
The former, in fact, are criticised by the whole world, whereas the latter seem to be regarded, even by the U.N., as an 'inexorable fatality'. The tacitly agreed price the Israelis should pay for the privilege of living in Israel, is to tolerate terrorists as their next door neighbours on an indefinite basis. Maybe it's also the price the United Nations 'indirectly impose' on the Israelis for the UNs' having failed in establishing the 1947 Israeli-Palestinian agreements. But if this is so, they too, like so many others suffering from blurred vision, are 'antithetically' off target, for the categorical refusal of the agreements came from the Arab League and never from the Israelis.

Text and Images © Mirino (PW) September, 2009

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