Dear Senator McCain: you’re dead wrong, it *is* the culture

Posted by: Phineas on July 31, 2012 at 1:01 pm

**Posted by Phineas

And I write that with all due and genuine respect for a man who suffered much for his country and was a true leader to the men who were prisoners of war with him.

But, this is just utterly wrong:

It’s government, “not cultures” that define the difference between Israelis and Palestinians. That’s according to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who appeared to differ with presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney as he tried to defend him.

“I am sure that Gov. Romney was not talking about difference in cultures, or difference in anybody superior or inferior,” said McCain, a chief Romney foreign policy surrogate, today during a news conference after an event here with Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). “What I’m sure Gov. Romney was talking was that the Israeli economy has grown and prospered in a dramatic fashion. And unfortunately, the Palestinians have not had that same economic development.

“And that goes to the leadership of the Palestinians. Everybody knows that Yasser Arafat was corrupt. And we also know that the Palestinian people have not been blessed with the kind of government that has lower regulations, less taxes, entrepreneurship, which have caused the Israeli economy to be one of the world’s most successful. It has nothing to do with cultures. It has nothing to do with superiority or inferiority. But facts of the booming Israeli economy has to do with the kind of government that the Israeli people have freely and democratically elected which has given them a very prosperous country.”

McCain noted he had not seen or heard Romney’s remarks, but that didn’t stop him from defending what Romney meant.

He has it exactly backwards: culture determines the type of society a nation has and shapes its form of government. Both are a reflection of the values of that society. Western civilization, which includes Israel, echoes the Judeo-Christian/Greco-Roman and, yes, for parts, Anglo-Saxon values that shaped it. It is a culture that values the individual and individual liberty, fosters initiative and wealth-creation, and that recognizes life is precious and not something to be taken carelessly. (1)

Arab Islamic culture on the other hand… What has it given the world lately? Dictatorship? Kleptocracy? Contempt for democracy? The near-enslavement of women? Honor killings? Suicide bombings? “We are going to win, because they love life and we love death“?

You want an example of the difference in cultures, Senator? Here’s just one from among hundreds. Israelis fight to save the life of a mother and child, even though they come from their sworn enemies. Palestinians murder Israeli children in their sleep, and the culture celebrates the killers as heroes.

Those values ripple throughout the respective cultures, and you can bet your bottom dollar they make a difference.

Natan Sharansky wrote a brilliant book called “The Case for Democracy.” In it he discusses the difference between what he calls “free societies” and “fear societies.” The Israelis are an example of the former, the Palestinians the latter, and the differences explain why, as Mitt Romney pointed out, Israel is successful, while “Palestine” is a failure.

You should read it, Senator. You might for once know what you’re talking about.

But I guess that’s a bit much to expect from a man who doesn’t even bother to check what his party’s nominee said before bloviating on it.

via Slublog

(1) Yeah, far from perfect, but also far better than the alternatives.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

RSS feed for comments on this post.

8 Responses to “Dear Senator McCain: you’re dead wrong, it *is* the culture”


  1. Lorica says:

    Here we go again Sen. McCain trying to sink yet another Republican nominee. He tried in 2000 with GW he sunk his own campaign with his let’s suspend our campaigns idea. Now he is trying to torpedo another campaign. Good Move John. Always reacting to the idiots in the news media. What is it about Washington DC?? Why is it when good and decent people spend too much time there they turn into brain dead buffoons?? Please Mitt, don’t put Sen. McCain in any other position in your campaign… you will have someone actively working against you, whether he is aware of it or not. – Lorica

  2. Drew the Infidel says:

    In the sense that culture encompasses social, intellectual, and artistic formation and activity it has everything to do with this line of argument and Romney is as right as rain. What Islamist ever contributed anything for the betterment of mankind? Say, along the lines of Albert Einstein who was Jewish. Not a soul since the Palestinians are obsessed with destruction of targets of opportunity instead of building something worthwhile for themselves. While the Israelis make computer chips the Palestinians make potato chips, a huge difference.

    Did I mention I am not and never will be Sharia-compliant?

  3. Carlos says:

    Again, with all due respect for one who literally went through hell for his country, he couldn’t be more of a jackass or dead wrong on the subject. He is being absolutely stupid and willfully blind about the relationship. He needs to go back, read some credible histories, and read what the Bible has to say about the Israelis and their neighbors.

  4. RiderInTheNight says:

    McCain deserves respect as a military veteran and POW but he is a total loser when it comes to politics. The man is dangerous to America and should be voted out of office. RINO McCain is a muslim sympathizer and has no business holding any type of elected office.

  5. mudguy says:

    He is a Rhino along with Graham and they together more damage to the US than good. I was in Arizona and did vote against him but there wasn’t enough votes against him to kick him out. He is wrong on immigration also.

  6. Carlos says:

    He’s wrong on nearly every issue that counts, mudguy…

  7. Jiji says:

    I see that some of us are waking up. McCain is nothing but a rino. Always has been, always will be. One day Arizona will have had enough and will vote him out.

  8. david foster says:

    McCain needs to drink a big cup of shut up. He ran an extremely poor campaign in 2008; maybe if he’ done a better job we wouldn’t have been saddled with Obama and all his minions.