Skip to content
 

No, It’s Not That Simple

I tend to avoid reading the conservative columnists in the New York Times. Am I close-minded? Perhaps. Do I just want to hear rationalization for what I already believe? Maybe.

But as a morning-time NY1 watcher, I had my attention drawn to today’s Ross Douthat column during the In the Papers segment. The premise is stated in the first sentence:

As the world ponders the fate of Egypt after Hosni Mubarak, Americans should ponder this: It’s quite possible that if Mubarak had not ruled Egypt as a dictator for the last 30 years, the World Trade Center would still be standing.

Interesting. Americans should also ponder this: It’s quite possible that if Mubarak had not ruled Egypt as a dictator for the last 30 years, the World Trade Center would still have been destroyed. On a separate but related note, if my auntie had bollocks she’d be my uncle.

I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on Middle Eastern politics, but that simple hypothetical statement is ridiculous. If the world had a different past, the present would be different! If my parents hadn’t met I wouldn’t be here! But if they had met, at a different time, I might not be here! Or maybe I would, but I’d have no sister! The possible outcomes are endless!

Also Ross contradicts himself later in the column with a statement that I definitely agree with:

Unfortunately, Middle Eastern politics is never quite that easy.

True! And as he gets into more of the details of complicated Middle Eastern politics, he also says this:

Sooner or later, the theories always fail. The world is too complicated for them, and too tragic.

The world is also too complicated for your overly simplistic hypothetical and speculative premise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

HTML tags are not allowed.