Monday, November 07, 2005
In Jeffrey Goldberg's article ("Breaking Ranks," October 31st), Brent Scowcroft quotes me as saying, "I believe that one of the things you've got to do to Arabs is hit them between the eyes with a big stick. They respect power." General Scowcroft is of course entitled to disagree with me -- I would be surprised, even alarmed, if he did not. But he should disagree with what I really think and say. Yes, I do think that Arabs respect power, as do most people, and that they despise meek acquiescence in tyranny and aggression. But the pseudo-quotation he uses is a grotesque caricature, equally alien to me in language and in content. In its place, let me offer a quotation from the great Arabic thinker and writer Ibn Hazm, who died in 1064: "He who treats friend and foe alike will only arouse distaste for his friendship and contempt for his enmity."
Professor Emeritus of New Eastern Studies
Princeton, New Jersey
Needless to say, bold emphasis added.