It is difficult in history to find any civilization that asks as much of others as does the contemporary Middle East—and yet so little of itself. If I were to sum up the collective mentality of the current Arab Middle East—predicated almost entirely on the patriarchal sense of lost “honor” and the rational calculation to murder appeasing liberals and appease murdering authoritarians—it would run something like the following:
(1) We will pump oil at $3 and must sell it over $50—and still blame you for stealing our natural treasure.
(2) We will damn your culture and politics, but expect our own to immigrate in the thousands to your shores; upon arrival any attempt to integrate Muslim immigrants into Western pluralistic society will be seen as Islamaphobic.
(3) Send us your material goods, whether machine tools, iPods, or antibiotics. We desperately want them, but will neither make the necessary changes in our own statist, authoritarian, religiously intolerant, tribal, and patriarchal culture to allow us to produce them ourselves, nor will show any appreciation for the genius of others who can do what we cannot.
(4) We ostensibly wish you to stop the killing of Muslims by ourselves and others—Milosevic murdering Kosovars, Saddam destroying Kuwaitis, Kurds, and Shiites, Russians killing Afghans and Chechnyans—but should you concretely attempt to do so, we will immediately consider your intervention far worse than the mayhem caused by others or ourselves.
(5) Any indigenous failure in the Arab Middle East will eventually be blamed on the United States or Israel.
(6) Your own sense of multiculturalism must serve as an apology for our own violent pathologies, that can only be seen as different from, never worse than, your own culture.
(7) We must at all times talk of anti-Americanism and why we want you out of the Middle East; you must never become anti-Arab or anti-Muslim, much less close your borders to our immigrants and students.
(8) We will tolerate and often defend those who burn churches, ethnically cleanse Jews from our cities, behead priests, kill nuns, and shoot infidels as the necessary, if sometimes regrettable, efforts of our more zealous to defend Islam. But if any free spirit in the West satirizes Islam, we will immediately demand that Western governments condemn such blasphemy—or else!
(9) Material aid—billions to Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, or the Palestinians—is our entitlement. Any attempt to curtail it is seen as an assault on the Arab nation.
(10) We are deathly afraid of nuclear Russia, China, and India who have little tolerance for either Islamism or terrorism, and so will ignore their felonies, while killing you for your misdemeanors.
The lefties who piped up in the comment section predictably argued that VDH was generalizing, and pointed out that there are plenty of Muslims and Middle Easterners who don't hold the opinions expressed above. But for crying out loud, people, when you make a generalization, that automatically implies that there are exceptions. It's the "collective mindset," which means that it's the mindset that predominates, not the mindset that uniformly permeates every Middle Easterner's brain. Geez Louise, lefties have mucked up discourse. They think that if they point out that there are exceptions to the rule, that the rule is thereby invalidated.
Try again, ya morons. Prove that VDH's propositions are not widely held, not that they aren't universally held.