Why, If I Ever Get a Time Machine, Jean-Paul Sartre and I Will Have a Long Talk

An opinion piece from the Boston Globe (via IHT) discusses the Syrian suppression of Kurdish protests. After briefly describing the historical/political context, the piece concludes:

At issue is not only the status of Kurds but a historic challenge to Arab, Turkish, and Iranian societies. They must learn to let minorities live among majorities without effacing their otherness.

This has got to be the weakest conclusion imaginable given the topic. While the editorial does go so far as to say that Syria's actions reflect the "underlying pathology" of Saddam's "crimes against humanity," to wrap up with what could easily be a plagarism from chapter four of Being and Nothingness will, for those sensitive to empty talk, induce - wait for it! - nausea. Even if the primary aspect of the problem is ethnic (Arab/Kurdish) rather than political (opressors/rational beings possessed of inalienable rights), to come up with no stronger prescription than a paean to the universal obligation of diversity-embracing demontrates a weakness of mind that may not shock but still appalls.

Quick show of hands: who thinks the Boston Globe's editorial board believes that Israel aspires to efface the otherness of Palestinians?

Posted by Doug Brown
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