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'Culture' wars

July 31, 2012 - Harry Eagar
One of the ideas that Arabs like to throw in the face of the West is that they headed a brilliant civilization when Europeans were still living in crude huts. That's less than half true; the Arabs conquered a brilliant civilization.

At the height of that brilliance, the Arabs who became the masters were illiterates. (There were other, more cultivated Arabs at that time, but they were victims of the Muslim conquest.)

It is thus a symptom of the very deep fall that the Arabs have taken from even their borrowed cultural brilliance that some of them, Palestinians, objected when Mitt Romney opined that Israel's economic success derived from its "culture."

Of course it does. If the Palestinians want to dispute that, they have to also admit that the rise of Europe derived from its culture.

What Romney said in Israel was unexceptionable. But then he went to Poland and opined that Poland's economic success (which is, in truth, not all that notable) derived from its culture (he didn't use that word again) of not borrowing.

Well, Romney no less than the Palestinians cannot be allowed to have it both ways.

Israel's economic success (far more notable than Poland's anyway) is based on a socialist model with lots of borrowing.

By the way, Poland's Solidarity union said it wanted nothing to do with Romney's war on workers.

And by the other way, in Poland all workers are required to contribute to something very like Obamacare.


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