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By Prof. Paul Eidelberg

    The United States has been bombing the hell out of Afghanistan on the one hand, and air-dropping food packages to the Afghans on the other.   The world’s only superpower wants to be loved as well as feared.  President Bush virtually apologies for bombing Afghanistan, and even urges Americans to contribute charity to Afghan children.  “This is not a war against the Afghan people,” he cries, but against “evil-doers”—Osama bin Laden and the Taliban regime that harbors this terrorist.  How benign, and how futile!
    Meanwhile, Mr. Bush’s Secretary of State Colin Powell flies to the Middle East to garner the support of Islamic regimes for America’s war against international terrorism.  Notice how he fawns over Pakistani and Saudi Arabian leaders.  Washington would rather be loved than feared by these despots.  This American attitude is also evident among Israelis.
    Which reminds me of Chapter 17 of the PRINCE, where Machiavelli raises the question of “whether it is better to be loved than feared.”  He answers: “One may respond that one would wish to be both the one and the other, but since it is difficult to mix these qualities together, it is much safer to be feared than loved, if one of the two must be lacking.  For one can say this generally of men:  that they are ungrateful, fickle, hypocrites and dissemblers, evaders of danger, lovers of gain …”
    All the more so of Muslim rulers vis-à-vis “infidels” like Colin Powell! Hatred of “infidels” is inherent in Islamic culture.  Muslim children are weaned on this hatred:  witness their Palestinian schoolbooks.  Muslim hatred vents itself in Muslim violence. Violent hatred is latent in Islam and can readily be triggered by any Muslim leader.  Hence, all attempts to distinguish Islam from “Islamists”—the view of Daniel Pipes—are dangerously misleading.  It may be polite or “politically correct” to speak of an “extremist” element in Islam.  But extremism is characteristic of Islamic thought and history.   Dr. Pipes has abundantly documented that Islam frequently erupts in violence throughout the world.   Jihad (Holy War) is not a mere abstraction.
    What is remarkable, however, is that while Muslims are prone to violence, they are extraordinarily polite.  Here let me quote from my book SADAT’S STRATEGY (1978):

“Ingratiation is characteristic of Arab culture.  A social scientist of Arab birth notes that ‘The Arab changes his identity with little reluctance. With the Asiatics he is oriental, with people from the West he is occidental, with the old societies he is a traditional man, with the new a modern.’”  ‘[Egyptian president Gamal Abdel] Nasser,’ writes an American journalist, “was an engaging man to meet.  He was equally endowed with natural charm and cunning, and he used his charm advantageously.  His visitors were immediately at their ease.  He was the incorruptible puritan revolutionary who never lost the simplicity of his tastes or the naturalness of his manners; the autocrat who disliked elaborate formalities and used the relaxed approach of democracy.’”

“When his successor, Anwar Sadat, met Secretary [of State] William Rogers, the latter recalled, ‘we felt at ease in each other’s company.’  He constantly referred to Rogers, who he had met for the first time, as ‘Bill.’ When Secretary Kissinger replaced Rogers, he became ‘dear Henry’ just as quickly.”
    No doubt Colin Powell received the same treatment by Pakistan’s English-speaking dictator General Pervez Musharraf.  Ingratiation and dissimulation are basic characteristics of Arab-Islamic culture.
    Mr. Powell has repeatedly remarked how pleased he is with the cooperation Washington has received from various Islamic leaders [read despots]. Powell is no longer a general but a diplomat, and he represents a benevolent democracy, which surely shaped his mentality.  Besides, his shift from the Pentagon to the State Department surely altered his posture toward foreign regimes.  Despite his military experience, he now prefers to be loved than feared.  This attitude bodes ill for the United States, which will neither be loved nor feared by its anti-Western Arab-Islamic “coalition partners” (which includes Yasser Arafat!).
    A closing word, therefore, from Machiavelli:  “since men love at their own pleasure and fear at the prince’s pleasure, a wise prince should found himself on that which is his, not on that which is dependent upon others …”


Professor Paul Eidelberg a Political scientist, author and lecturer is the co-founder and president of The Foundation For Constitutional Democracy with offices in Jerusalem and Washington, DC.

Professor Eidelberg was born in Brooklyn, New York.  From high school he enlisted in the United States Air Force where he held the rank of first lieutenant.  He received his doctoral degree in political science at the University of Chicago.  While studying at the University, he designed and constructed the electronics system for the first brain scanner used at the Argonne Cancer Research Hospital.
Professor Eidelberg wrote a trilogy on the statesmanship of America's
founding fathers:  On the Silence of the Declaration of Independence; The Philosophy of the American Constitution, and A Discourse on Statesmanship.
Eidelberg joined Israel's Bar-Ilan University faculty in 1976.  He has
written several books on the Arab-Israel conflict and on Judaism:
Demophrenia provides a psychological analysis of Israel's foreign policy. Jerusalem versus Athens and Beyond the Secular Mind apply Jewish concepts for an understanding of modern problems.  Judaic Man develops concepts for a Jewish psychology.  His most recent book, Jewish Statesmanship:  Lest Israel Fall, provides the philosophical and institutional foundations for reconstructing the State of Israel.  It has also been published in Hebrew and in Russian.
Professor Eidelberg is on the Editorial Board of Israel's premier journal
Nativ, as well as on the Advisory Council of the Ariel Center for Policy
Research.  He has written more than 800 articles for newspapers and
scholarly journals in the United States and Israel.
Eidelberg has lectured before Israel's Foreign Office and has written
policy papers for various Knesset Members.  He chaired a panel discussion on the topic "Why Israel Needs a Constitution" at the 1997 American Political Science Association conference in Washington, DC.  He has drafted a Constitution for Israel which has been published in Hebrew and Russian.
During the past two years, Professor Eidelberg has been conducting seminars on constitutions, diverse parliamentary electoral systems, Jewish law, and related topics at the Jerusalem center of the Foundation for Constitutional Democracy.
P.O. Box 23702,  Jerusalem, 91236, Israel