Saturday, December 11, 2004


Via Daniel Pipes I came across this curious piece, which is from the hand of a certain Tyler Golson, an American teacher in English, since six months working in Syria’s capital Damascus. It appeared in The Daily Star, a leading Lebanese newspaper.

Mr. Golson, a Democrat and like many of his political leanings blinded by irrational Bush-hatred, finds himself baffled as he finds out his pupils don’t share his views:

One afternoon I was explaining the passive tense of verbs, and I used an example that came to mind from American culture. I asked them if they knew who was nominated by the two main parties to run for president. "John Kerry was nominated by the Democratic Party, and George Bush was nominated by the Republicans," replied one of the brightest in the class, a veiled Muslim engineering student named Rahaf. "Very good," I said. "Now, who do you think will be elected?" "Bush," cried several of the students at once, smiling. Abandoning my lesson plan for the moment, but curious at this sudden display of interest in the election, I ventured: "Who do you want to win?" "Bush," said Rahaf, while a number of others nodded in solid agreement. I pressed them further for a few minutes, asking individual students why they liked Bush. The same ideas came up again and again: he is a strong leader, an honest man, and, most of all, a believer. Like the winning margin of American voters this year, these Middle Easterners related to Bush's sense of religious conviction and his confident steering of a nation and culture they admired.

I picked out his particular paragraph…

"But doesn't he scare you?" I asked finally, unable to contain my personal feelings and throwing the lesson plan out the window. "Because of Bush's ideas many people in my country think that all of you are terrorists." Rahaf and most of the others just shrugged. Maybe that was all true, they said, but he was still a good president.

…because it once again clearly shows how blinded those on the left are in their appreciation of how the right views the world. According to Mr. Golson, you out there, and me, and everyone else who supports Bush, have been led to believe by the Bush Administration that because it has branded the Syrian government as a terrorism-supporting entity, which it is, let's be clear about that, all Syrians are terrorists too. What a ludicrous idea! Yet the very casual way in which Mr. Golson vents it learns us a lot of the deadlock in the minds of many (the greater majority of?) Democrats. Oh well. As long as they prefer to being stuck in this asinine mindset they condemn themselves to losing elections time and again.

To his credit I have to admit Mr. Golson ends on a positive as well as rational note when he writes:

Having a truly even-handed and practical approach to peace in the Arab world means realizing that not everyone, and certainly not all of the elites in Arab society, sympathize with the anti-American movements taking place within their own ranks, and that these heartland Arabs could prove a valuable ally in future U.S.-Arab relations.


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