Mar 16, 2006

But Not The King...

And so we had the debate over Darwin's theory of evolution. Be it resolved that: Man did not descend from apes. Those arguing for the proposition narrowly won, largely because the lead off debater arguing against the proposition was very stressed and had to be prompted several times to continue her argument. Immediately after the debate she threw on her designer sun glasses and fled. I was judge and audience. I suggested that we do this again to sharpen their skills and offered the topic BIRT: Morocco should not have a king. That drew wails of protest. "We will be arrested," said a business major. "We can't do it." I reassured them that les annees noires are behind them. They were not to be reassured. "We cannot mention these topics," another girl noted. "We are forbidden."

The reaction is ironic when you consider that these are the children of those, certainly some of them, who loyally and joyfully carried out the will of Hassan II. Incidentally, in recent years, Hassan has apparently has acquired renewed awe. Such is the trick of memory here. The good son is forgotten against the backdrop of his pragmatic father, the charmistic cold war king who once noted that sometimes it was necessary, if you are king, to do away with human rights.... for the good of the people. And there are times when I am ashamed to say, I've come to agree.

My friend, M, an Iraqi, is forever telling me that Iraq is lost, that the best they can hope for is a benevolent dictator. It has come to that there. But this is perhaps a truth that extends through this culture. I should not say.

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