Thursday, June 16, 2011

Read this and then please forget you ever read it.

This article in the Washington Times makes me feel good about myself. I may not know everything about the Middle East (yet!), but I'm not so moronic as to issue the Arab Spring a report card.

J.D. Gordon, who apparently served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense under George Bush (I could see he and Rumsfeld getting along famously), is not. He gives the Arab Spring the following grades:

  • History: D  Sometimes revolutions don't yield democratic governments. So I will go ahead and criticize the Arabs for the un-democratic outcomes they are sure to eventually achieve.  
  • Civics: F  (Harsh!) Arab society is barbaric. 
  • Economics: D-  There is no hope for Arab economies to recover from recent turmoil. 
  • Political Science: D-  Arab political culture in the absence of authoritarianism is a playground for tribes, ethic groups, Islamists, and other unsavory characters. Only autocrats can reign them in. 
  • [And now, for my personal favorite....]   Art: F  There is no need to sarcastically paraphrase the author's obtuse remarks. Just read for yourself:

"The Spanish Civil War gave us Picasso’s 'Guernica,' an iconic painting of a town wiped out by Nazi Germany’s bomber aircraft. World War II gave us films like 'Casablanca' and 'Back to Bataan.'

The Arab Spring has shown us coarse anti-Semitic graffiti and effigies, depicting leaders like Col. Moammar Gadhafi adorned with the Star of David. While riveting, the protester-produced videos of carnage have been little more than a modern version of the 'Faces of Death' film series."

Gordon's conclusion: The Arab Spring is pretty worthless, and the Middle East is unable to "perform at a democratic level," whatever that means.

My conclusion: J.D. Gordon is a douchebag.


  1. Sarah,

    Great post! I agree 100% with your assessment of this guy J.D. Gordon. As a rebuttal to his grade for Art, this picture from The Arabist is a great example of post-revolution Egyptian street art.

  2. Thanks for your comment, James! And you're totally right... the graffiti springing up around Cairo is inspired. Are you based in Cairo, btw?

  3. Yes, I am! I'm working at MasterPeace and found your blog because one of your posts was featured on our blog the other day.