So earlier today I was sitting in the study area of a building at school when a nicely dressed middle aged man walked up and two students greeted him. He was a guest speaker for their class at 3:00. They were sitting right next to me and I’m a fairly curious person so I couldn’t help but listen to them.
I asked him what he was speaking about and he told me The Arab Spring and the Syrian Civil War. By now I’m really interested. I asked him with what authority he was speaking like is he from the government and he told me he’s from Syria. I said great! Then he said he’s also the president of the local Arab community club and he owns 15 Little Caesars Pizzas in the area. I asked him for his business card but he didn’t have one.
I asked the students if they thought their teacher would mind if I sat in on the talk and they said they were sure he wouldn’t mind. I followed them in the room and told the teacher I was interested in hearing the talk. It turns out it was a Global Issues class so I was really happy!
Wow. Was I in for one heck of a talk.
He moved here in 1985 with $1100 in his pocket and he’s made it well for himself and I applaud him for that. Although he said some pretty wacky things and I was shocked this man was brought in to a Global Issues class as a guest speaker.
1. He kept repeating over and over again that America is heaven.
While it is true that I am moving to Vietnam it’s not as if I hate America. I just want to see the world and I want my daughter to have a worldly education. Yep, the USA is a pretty sweet place to live but heaven? Heaven? I can’t say I agree with that.
2. He kept talking about how the leaders of Middle Eastern countries are insane. His examples were:
- The king of Saudi Arabia paid to have houses built for every Saudi citizen.
I can’t find anything online anywhere saying this is true. What I do find is several references to the king pumping $35billion of his own dollars into government funds to help Saudi citizens get loans to build houses, open businesses, and get married. He also released people from debtors prisons. Plus he gave 15% raise for government employees, better state aid, and one year of unemployment pay for youths.
While I am sure living in Saudi Arabia would suck for me as a woman and I could write a 20 page paper and what’s wrong with the Saudi government I can’t call the king insane. Especially since it doesn’t appear that he paid for houses for every Saudi citizen. He only made it possible for Saudi citizens to take out loans. While this is a far cry from women’s rights it’s not insanity. In fact it’s down right wonderful.
- He also called the King of Kuwait crazy. (His words not mine. Saudi king insane, Kuwaiti king crazy) Why is this man crazy you may ask? He forgave all debts and called everyone even.
True! Awesome! How sweet would it be if the US president were to forgive all debt and let us all start over again? I can hear the nation wide sigh of relief in my head. I could go on and on but I won’t. Once again I’m not saying I think Kuwait is a model country as it’s far from it but forgiving the debts of it’s citizens does not seem crazy to me it actually seems nice.
- I can’t remember if this was Saudi Arabia, Syria or Kuwait but he said he prepaid for $5 worth of gas but the pump didn’t shut off and he got more gas than he had paid for. He went in to pay for the rest and the attendant said don’t worry about it, it was our mistake. Guess what he said about the attendant? He was crazy. He was crazy because he didn’t make him pay for the gas he got. But it was a mistake and the attendant admitted to the mistake and said don’t worry about it. How does that make him crazy? In my mind it makes him nice. I think this guy is so obsessed with capitalism and money that he can’t even imagine someone being nice. Nice=crazy to him.
3. He said that he does not believe that Obama or the United States had anything to do with the death of Osama bin Laden. He thinks Osama bin Laden died of liver problems and it was all a huge publicity stunt for Obama.
Remember this man was brought in as a guest speaker on a university campus.
4. He said that the war in Syria is not a civil war at all. He said the people that started the war against the government and the rebels that are fighting now are Chechen.
I looked into this as well. Yes. There are people from Chechnya fighting in the Syrian Civil war but there are also people from China, Bosnia, and several other Arab states and the Chechens most certainly did not start the war.
5. A student asked him if there were any comparisons between the US and the Middle East and he said none at all. It’s completely impossible to compare the two.
I was a guest so I didn’t say anything but someone else spoke up and asked about corruption in the government and he refused to admit that there is any corruption in the US government because once again the US is heaven. He spoke of democracy and how wonderful it is that we can all vote and how all of our votes matter. If you know me at all you know that I think that is a beautiful idea but anyone that believes our nation is truly run like that is naive. If you are rich you matter and if you are not rich you are fodder for the rich. That’s how our country was started and not much has changed since. I don’t believe we live in the heavenly democracy this guy thinks we live in.
6. As if he hadn’t jumped the shark already he also mentioned the Malaysian plane and how “the government” knows where it is they’re just not telling us.
This guy struck me as nothing but a right wing, Tea Party nut job. I’m glad he’s made it well for himself. It’s a difficult thing to do and he succeeded. Good for him! And I mean that but wow did he come off as crazy to me. Well ya know the converts make the best zealots. He’s an American convert so he’s going to love our capitalist system more than many.
I am very disappointed that he was brought in as a speaker for a Global Issues class. Young college kids (and many not so young people) are very impressionable and they believe anything a man in a suit in the front of the room tells them. This guy stood up and told 30 college kids flat out lies. The death of bin Laden was a publicity ploy for the president? Chechens started the Syrian Civil War? The Saudi king bought a house for every citizen? These are lies. This man belongs in the nuthouse and not speaking on a university campus as if he’s an official of some sort.
Oh yeah! There was also some anti-Christianity and anti-Semitism thrown in there but I’m always down for some anti religion talk so I won’t dwell on that part.
By the way: he didn’t talk about the Arab Spring at all and the only thing he said about Syria was that Chechens started it.
I would totally expect someone like this to speak at something like last week’s Tea Party rally in town but not on a university campus. Well…. maybe Liberty University but not a state run school. Vietnam here I come!
What I learned from his talk:
- Nothing should ever be free.
- No one should ever be generous to anyone else. Ever. No matter what.
- The US had nothing to do with the death of bin Laden
- The war in Syria was started by Chechens and it’s not really a civil war at all
- The Malaysian plane is not really lost