Saturday, March 14, 2009

Defending Bashir

I was laying in bed this morning listening to RMC-Doualiya the popular NPR- like station based in Paris and covering the entire Arab world. The program was called Oxygen and consisted of a blend of popular pop songs along with call-ins by listeners to discuss current events.

While the host of the show was trying to suggest various topics of conversations, caller after caller seemed intent on discussing one issue and one issue only; that of the warrant of arrest against Omar Bashir, the president of Sudan.

What was interesting and scary is that none of the callers believed Bashir to be guilty and there was a unanimous belief that the whole thing was nothing more than a US (read Zionist) led conspiracy to go, not only after Bashir, but after every Arab leader in the region. One woman even suggested that the UN passes laws protecting all presidents from prosecution.

While the host of the show tried to raise some questions regarding Bashir's own flaws, that didn't seem to change the opinions of the callers. Just like in the days before we took down Saddam in Iraq, at least on the popular front, there was once again, the sentiment that by going after the leader, you are going after the country. The two are simply the same.

If there is anything that Arab leaders were successful at, this was it..

1 comment:

C D said...

Thanks for this post! I agree that this seems to be the general idea in the Arab/Muslim world. I'm a non-Arab living in Morocco, and until just now, I never really considered the connection. My Moroccan friend and I always argue about politics - I personally think his viewpoints are skewed from watching only Al-Jazeera (in Arabic) all the time - and he is continuously defending Saddam. I'm not used to that after years of American news channels saying only bad things about him. But now I understand a bit more as to where it comes from.

I'll have to do research about Sudan and Bashir to bring this argument up with him. Where do you recommend I look for information from both sides of the issue?