What does 007 and Arab Mukhabarat have in common?!
Absolutely nothing, except for the fact that they work for the intelligence services.
Arabs love to watch 007 movies, we've been rooting for Bond for almost as long as Palestine has been occupied by Jews. We're fascinated by this handsome character's genuineness, boldness, sex appeal, courage and patriotism. We cheer for him to catch bad guys and we celebrate with him when he kills them.
All of this got me thinking, what if our Mukhabarat were more like James Bond?!
Allow me to explain.
Our Mukhabarat are hated among the masses. They are seen as these dirty, lurking in the shadows, backstabbing, uneducated, unbehaved assholes! In fact, we despise them.
But what if our Mukhabarat were more like James Bond? What if our governments invested in equipping them with top of the line suits, cars, education and gadgets. What if they looked and smelled good. What if they looked cool! Would Arabs love their own Mukhabarat then? I have a feeling they actually will.
Here's an example:
Obama's Middle East policies are pretty much the same as his predecessors. Support Israel no matter what, support oil producing nations no matter what, Islamists are bad, Iran is bad, Jews are good, etc.
Yet you find millions of Arabs cheering for him, wanting him to win the elections. Many were filled with smiles and joy when he won again. George Bush was pelted with shoes when he came to this region. Obama would be greeted with roses and smiles if he tours the Arab World. People love him because he is charismatic, he's black, and he gives them hope.
We were sold an image, and it worked.
If Arab governments invest more in their Mukhabarat perhaps we will start cheering for them too, loving and supporting them against each other. Hell, we'd even start telling them things on our own just so we can brefriend them!
Sad isn't it.
“A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.”
― Saul Bellow