This morning I watched ‘Valentino’s Ghost: Framing the Arab Image’, a documentary on Al Jazeera. It covered the history of interactions between Europe and the Middle East — the invasions and conquests by Spain, France and England of different parts of the African North Coast and Middle East. The shameful history of the US and Iran. And of course Israel and Palestine. It is not pretty and it did make me wonder — what do we really know? How much of what is in the press is true and how much is just spin and illusion? And more to the point, if other countries were invading you, driving you from your homes, killing your families and taking your resources — what would you do? And how would you feel towards them?
There was a quote I heard a while back, from the first head of the CIA who remarked that if the average person in the street had any idea of what was going on then he had not done his job.
Not much to say, really. Just the thought that when situations are looked at from other perspectives sometimes it is difficult to believe our self-righteous rhetoric. And wonder how we can get beyond this state?