THE SIMILARITIES BETWEEN JED CLAMPETT & THE MIDDLE EAST
BRYCE ON THE MIDDLE EAST
- “Come and listen to my story about a group from the Middle East…”
Whenever you think of the Middle East, two things come to mind: oil and violence. If there was no oil, the rest of the world probably would not care about the region and let the tribes destroy themselves. It’s an area known as the birthplace of many religions, including Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, among many others. Ironically, all profess love, peace, and understanding, yet cannot wait to kill each other off.
The latter part of the 20th century represented a windfall for the Middle East in the sense of its oil production resulting in trillions of dollars thereby causing sparkling new cities to spring up in the region. Somehow the image of Jed Clampett comes to mind complete with his backwoods humor. Regardless of how Jed and his family tried to acclimate into Beverly Hills society, they found it impossible as they couldn’t shed their country roots. Unfortunately, the same is true of those in the Middle East. They may have struck a fortune, but they really haven’t adapted to the 21st century.
Most of the Arab world operates under monarchies with kings and princes, all of whom have become incredibly wealthy along the way. Most are benevolent monarchies who take care of their people by providing jobs, housing, and education. This pacifies the people, but make no mistake, the monarchy is still very much in control, not the people. A republic where representatives are elected by the people is still a foreign concept to them. In other words, they prefer to be told what to do. From this perspective, the basic Middle East culture has not changed for hundreds of years. They do not grasp true freedom and, instead, rely on the goodwill and leadership of their kings. In a nutshell, they are primitives with some rather barbaric ideas in sharp contrast to the rest of the world. While the rest of mankind grew and evolved over the years, the people of the Middle East kept steadfast to their ways.
Aside from the monarchies, you have the barbarous religious fanatics and dictators in the area, such as Saddam Hussein, who was only toppled by military force and at a heavy toll of human life. One has to wonder why the people didn’t rise up to overthrow Hussein. Was he really the madman he was accused of, or was he just another Arab leader with a tad more ambition? Keep in mind, his country was oil-rich and provided the basic necessities for his people, while living opulently himself. Hussein was depicted as callous to humans and treated them more as slaves than as constituents, and herein suggests their weakness.
Those in the Western world puzzled as to why the people of the Middle East accept their existence and do not aspire to freedom and democratic principles, the answer is simple, over the centuries they have been trained to accept autocratic rule and do not comprehend political concepts, such as republics and democracy. It is not in their nature, they simply cannot comprehend it. They have as much a chance of acclimating to such ideas as Jed Clampett had in Beverly Hills. You can take the Arab out of the desert, but you cannot take the desert out of the Arab. They honestly prefer to be told what to do rather than think for themselves.
As long as we remain dependent on oil from the Middle East, we will have to deal with the helter skelter of that region. The only way to keep them in check is to develop our shale oil and gas which, as they know, represents a genuine threat to their existence. It’s simple, no oil imports, no need for the United States to get entangled in a barbaric culture.
“Well now it’s time to say goodbye to Jed and all his kin and they would like to thank you folks for kindly dropping in…”
Keep the Faith!
Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida.