Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Middle Eats

"But the global food crisis has carved out new opportunities for the Brotherhood and other hard-line groups across the Muslim world. Increasingly unaffordable prices underscore criticism of autocratic governments and drive more people toward fundamentalist groups. Though the Brotherhood fared poorly last year in municipal elections, it has been steadily gaining ground in recent months, sweeping votes for the leadership of Jordan's professional associations.

"America is being held responsible for what is happening," said Arshid, of Jordan's Islamic Action Front. "It's supporting these corrupt regimes."

Privatization efforts and free-market slogans have only fueled perceptions of corruption, giving teeth to claims that the region's pro-U.S. governments are corrupt lackeys serving only the elite.

"The economic team doesn't believe in the poor," said economist Kamhawi, who often confers with ranking Jordanian officials. "They only care about the rich. They say, 'The poor are failures. We have no interest in helping failures.' ""

So the media is now starting to realize that the Middle East, in addition to being a powder keg with a lit fuse is also one of the most food dependent places on earth. And how true it is that economic teams affiliated with the Arab regimes do not believe in the poor. I have worked with many and can vouch for that. Wake up!

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