By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
You don’t think the Middle East will ever become democratic. Why not?
Because of Islam. Islam doesn’t accept democracy, and Islam is spreading. I’ve lived in that part of the world, and the imam is much more important than your father, much more important than any politician.
But millions of Iraqis have gone to the polls to vote.
Yes, but it’s not a question of democracy. The Arab is such a hierarchical society. How can you have a democracy when you have arranged marriages of 6-year-olds? They talk about democracy in Pakistan, when a girl is sent to Pakistan and sold away to somebody. What is this bullshit? You’re talking to me, you’re not talking to some buffoon who has to shake his head on television and say, “Yes, Sir.” And most people have not lived in Arab lands — I have. I like living in Arab lands. I like poor Arabs; I like poor Palestinians. What I loathe are rich Arabs. Look how the rich Saudi businessmen act. Look what they do — the way they push people around, the whores, the waiters, the bodyguards. It’s bullshit. You go, you see poor Arabs, they’re very nice; they believe in Islam because it’s the only thing they have. They help each other out, they walk around holding little fingers. The poor Arabs are nice people. But the moment they get money . . . Democracy! They don’t know anything! It’s just too far away. Maybe 500 years from now, but not now, I don’t care what the do-gooders say.
Perhaps it’s the start of what will happen in the future.
I think there’ll be lessdemocracy in the future. What are you going to have, some fat Belgian from Brussels telling you what to do? What great colonials theywere! The nastiest of all. Unbelievable stuff. I don’t see democracy getting better. I see democracy diminishing. More rules, more legislation. Eventually governments will see everything. George Orwell was off by 25 years. How can there be democracy?
But didn’t the elections in Iraq move you at all? Make you feel that perhaps there was something worthwhile in doing this?
I thought it was very courageous of the people who voted. But has it done anything? It’s become worse. What I’d like to do is go to Baghdad. I was going to go, but I got ill. Boris Johnson [the British M.P.] wrote the smartest thing. He goes there, just as the war finishes, and he goes jogging along the Euphrates. Then he goes back after two years, stays at the British Embassy, and says to the ambassador, “Do you mind, I’m going out for a little run?” “Sure, but you’ll need four Humvees, 15 bodyguards . . . ” So this was for me the best, the truest article to come out. You can jog after the war, but you can’t jog two years after having won the war. Come on!
What have you made of the left’s opposition to the war, and the way they’ve expressed it?
Can I tell you something? It just boggles the hell out of me to be on the side of those guys. Because I don’t respect the Left, I think the left is phony and all that, but here I am on the side of Justin Raimondo [of Antiwar.com]. I’m certainly not on the side of Michael Moore. To see that slob getting a Palme d’Or in Cannes was just vomitive. I’m not partners with them, I don’t mix with them, but I’m afraid I’m very adamant against the war. Now [there’s] talk about Iran. . . . They cannot get a bloody nose, the Americans, because they can always pull out, but I think you’re just making trouble. Why do all that? For what? Obviously, for Israel. It’s as simple as that. Would we have been better off if we’d never attacked Iraq? Yes. Would our troops be better off? Yes. If Rumsfeld was named Ford and a great-grandson of Henry Ford and owned 100 percent of the company and ran it this way, he wouldn’t get a job selling hubcaps.
What did you think about the media reaction to Hurricane Katrina?
I think the press lied like hell on that one. Do you really expect the president of the United States to do something about nature? Clinton had eight years and did fuck-all. Maybe Bush could have been there, changed his schedule, but it was all bullshit. Instead of screaming about the disaster of the war, they screamed about Katrina. In any case, it’s a corrupt state, a corrupt city — what could Bush have done? Given a car to everybody? I think the press lost credibility. You can dislike Bush for your own reasons, but it’s childish almost.
You were in London last summer during the terrorist attacks. What was that like?
If those bombs had gone off in New York there would have been much more of a brouhaha about it. I’ve always been down on the Brits since they became multiculti, but I must say the spirit was wonderful. Of course there was no traffic; the city was like a cemetery. I went to dinner that night, at Zac Goldsmith’s, the editor of The Ecologist, and in fact the whole conversation was about his mother-in-law having had a stroke. It was only at the end that we discussed the bombs. Life went on completely uninterrupted; all the restaurants were full. That’s what struck me there — in a good sense. Because otherwise you’re giving in to the bombers. I think here in New York it would have been a little different. There would have been much more hysteria.