When the “Voice of Arabs” radio told us triumphantly in the 1960s that Nasser’s Egypt had the strongest army in the region and could throw Israel into the sea, we believed. Then came the disaster of June 5, 1967, when Israel destroyed not only the “mighty” Egyptian Army but also the Jordanian and Syrian. Egyptian radio went on with the lies for days, and claimed that American and British aircraft had joined the Israelis. Many of us knew better afterward. Still, too many continued to believe, even today.
The Arab media kept telling us that all our troubles are due to Zionist conspiracies. Sacrifices had to be made. Freedom, democracy, economic prosperity, good education, and all kinds of luxuries had to wait. The new generation wants to live like their peers in other parts of the world. Satellite TV, the Internet, and other modern communication tools gave them an open, unfiltered window. The people’s knowledge of the truth will grow larger, their patience will get thinner, and the inevitable big bang will happen – soon enough.
The writer, Dr. Khaled Batarfi, is managing editor of Al Madina newspaper in Jiddah and a childhood friend of Osama bin Laden.
Sorry, Doc, but it looks like the big bang that you’re referring to, will be an atom bomb turning all of us into melted blood and sinew, because one of your childhood friends will never accept the truth about his own depravity.