Richard Cohen, one of my favorite left-leaning pundits, reminds us, in his column today, something the president’s supporters already knew: that George Bush is no bigot. The immediate issue is the seeming anti-Arab wave sweeping the nation. Gosh, I wonder why that could be…you don’t suppose that dancing in the streets in Arab cities on 9/11 could have anything to do with it?
Well, of course not all terrorists are Arabs. It’s just that so many terrorists are, and that they tend to be supported by the people and governments of most Arab states. Dubai may, for now, be on our side in the war on terror, but in the past they’ve been enemies. Helping terrorists with money laundering and direct funding, and supplying jihadis.
And, please, let’s not hear any nonsense about how the 7/11 London terrorists were “British.” They were British in name only; they were Muslim terrorists. Just as Mo Atta and his band of merry jihadis spent a goodly amount of time in Germany. They weren’t German. They were Arabs, who happened to be living in Germany.
Getting back to Richard Cohen, it seems that he very much likes the worst of the Arabs, the Saudis, and goes so far as to claim that “America has many friends in the Arab world.” His evidence? This:
You can go to Saudi Arabia, for instance, and talk “American” at a dinner party — banter about the Washington Redskins or California real estate prices or, of course, politics. The region is home to many people who have gone to school in the United States and admire it greatly. They are not the majority by any means, but they are important and influential — and they are being slowly alienated by knee-jerk insults and brainless policies that reflect panic and prejudice.
Poor Arabs. “Being slowly alienated.” Well, Richard, perhaps one may “talk American” to some rich Saudis. Can one attend church or synagogue services in Riyadh?
When this is even possible, then I’d consider Arabs to possibly be our friends. Right now, a goodly number of Muslim Arabs appear to be our implacable enemies. Actions always speak louder than friendly dinner party conversation.