“World opinion” is worthless

Dennis Prager

If you are ever morally confused about a major world issue, here is a rule that is almost never violated: Whenever you hear that “world opinion” holds a view, assume it is morally wrong.

And here is a related rule if your religious or national or ethnic group ever suffers horrific persecution: “World opinion” will never do a thing for you. Never.

“World opinion” has little or nothing to say about the world’s greatest evils and regularly condemns those who fight evil.

The history of “world opinion” regarding the greatest mass murders and cruelties on the planet is one of relentless apathy. …[Read more]


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Posted on August 1, 2006, in News and politics. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Except of course when World Opinion starts to become your stumbling block so that you, in effect, cannot accomplish anything at all anymore.

    You deride the views of our allies, but fail to realize that this peacekeeping force in Lebanon that Bush keeps asking for will come from our allies. Perhaps, if we ask them for a favor, we should listen to them also. Respect is reciprocal.

  2. Did you even bother to read Prager’s article before your posted your comments? What part of the article do you object to? Consider his following points:

    Prager: On the other hand, we learn that “world opinion” is quite exercised over Israel’s unintentional killing of a few hundred Lebanese civilians behind whom hides Hezbollah — a terror group that intentionally sends missiles at Israeli cities and whose announced goals are the annihilation of Israel and the Islamicization of Lebanon. And, of course, “world opinion” was just livid at American abuses of some Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. In fact, “world opinion” is constantly upset with America and Israel, two of the most decent countries on earth, yet silent about the world’s cruelest countries.

    Why is this?

    Here are four reasons:

    First, television news.

    It is difficult to overstate the damage done to the world by television news. Even when not driven by political bias — an exceedingly rare occurrence globally — television news presents a thoroughly distorted picture of the world. Because it is almost entirely dependent upon pictures, TV news is only capable of showing human suffering in, or caused by, free countries. So even if the BBC or CNN were interested in showing the suffering of millions of Sudanese blacks or North Koreans — and they are not interested in so doing — they cannot do it because reporters cannot visit Sudan or North Korea and video freely. Likewise, China’s decimation and annexation of Tibet, one of the world’s oldest ongoing civilizations, never made it to television.

    Second, “world opinion” is shaped by the same lack of courage that shapes most individual human beings’ behavior. This is another aspect of the problem of the distorted way news is presented. It takes courage to report the evil of evil regimes; it takes no courage to report on the flaws of decent societies. Reporters who went into Afghanistan without the Soviet Union’s permission were killed. Reporters would risk their lives to get critical stories out of Tibet, North Korea and other areas where vicious regimes rule. But to report on America’s bad deeds in Iraq (not to mention at home) or Israel’s is relatively effortless, and you surely won’t get killed. Indeed, you may well win a Pulitzer Prize.

    Third, “world opinion” bends toward power. To cite the Israel example, “world opinion” far more fears alienating the largest producers of oil and 1 billion Muslims than it fears alienating tiny Israel and the world’s 13 million Jews. And not only because of oil and numbers. When you offend Muslims, you risk getting a fatwa, having your editorial offices burned down or receiving death threats. Jews don’t burn down their critics’ offices, issue fatwas or send death threats, let alone act on such threats.

    Fourth, those who don’t fight evil condemn those who do. “World opinion” doesn’t confront real evils, but it has a particular animus toward those who do — most notably today America and Israel.

    The moment one recognizes “world opinion” for what it is — a statement of moral cowardice, one is longer enthralled by the term. That “world opinion” at this moment allegedly loathes America and Israel is a badge of honor to be worn proudly by those countries. It is when “world opinion” and its news media start liking you that you should wonder if you’ve lost your way.

  3. But Mr. LDSPatriot, if other countries are so turned off to what you have to say, you become ineffectual in carrying out what needs to be done because you have no one to help you. America cannot do things alone. It is impossible.

  4. Of course America cannot go it alone. Nor can America sell out her principels to be liked, now can she? In your mind, Dan, how is it that Amerca can be liked, something you must have thought a lot about.

  5. What principles does America stand for?

    Freedom? Really? Then why did the CIA in Operation Ajax overthrow a democratically elected government in Iran in the 1950s? I mean, the Iranians freely elected their leader. We, on the other hand, went on to install the monarchy back. Freedom?

    We’ve sold on our principles so often, no wonder Americans don’t realize just how often we’ve done it.

    We’re liked when we DON’T sell out on our principles. Arabs see us claiming we are for freedom, and yet we sacrifice the Cedar Revolution on the altar of Israeli deference, even though that sacrifice will be in vain, as the only true defense for Israel is the strengthening of democracy in Lebanon, NOT in the political strengthening of Hezbollah, which is what has been accomplished by Olmert’s failure in Lebanon. If we truly believed in democracy in Lebanon, we would have been forceful to Israel to NOT target Lebanese infrastructure, or to even invade the country. We would not have tried to make it a “moment of opportunity,” to further our own selfish goals that are also not working.

    This is what should have happened for us not selling out on our principles regarding democracy in the Middle East. We should have told Israel, look you and Hezbollah have been kidnapping and exchanging prisoners for the past 20 years. Don’t take Hezbollah’s bait and fight them. Hold back. Do the exchange. Hezbollah will weaken within Lebanon as Lebanon continues their growth. By attacking Hezbollah, Israel, you will fall right into their playbook. This will not be good for you, as you will endanger the Cedar Revolution. Let it go. There will be a time and a place to take on Hezbollah. Today is not the time nor the place.

    By doing this, we would not have sold our principle of standing for a democracy, and we would have gained more respect in the eyes of Arabs.

    We are liked when we do not sell out our principles. We are disliked when we are painfully disproportionate, and hold a blatant double standard. We tell Iran to democratize while we fully support the Saud family ruling powerfully in Saudi Arabia. We sell our principles to our addiction to oil. We don’t really want democracy in Saudi Arabia as that might make for a disturbance in oil profits for Exxon and Mobil.

    You want to stand for principle? Let go our support for the Saud family. Let go our support for Mubbarak. Let the Egyptians decide for themselves just who they want to lead their country. We’re probably not going to like it, but hey, I don’t like Bush. 😉

  6. What America does goes deeper then what anyone can think off. This is the problem with the Americans. They live in an Oblivious world, with a manipulated media, and with a very Arrogant idiology ( Bush a great example ).. nothing to be proud off. Knowledge is power and key. Ive done a lot of research on many world events, and its just scary on the type of information that we, the people in America are been spooned fed and hidden from the real information. But hey, I guess on ehas to believe Bush. Its in the doctrines. The big nations will fall in guilt of their leaders.. hmm hmm hmm

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