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Good to note Hume Horan

Reader comment on item: What Riyadh Buys [in Washington]

Submitted by Brenda (United States), Dec 13, 2002 at 16:47

I was struck by the honesty of Hume Horan when he appeared on Chris Matthews' Hardball, in late Dec. 2001, so I recorded a later showing and made my own mini-transcript.

(Discussing the bin Laden dinner tape and why so many in the Arab world refuse to believe it. CM asks whether modern-looking Arabs on the street really believe the conspiratorial ideas they are relating to interviewers.)

HH: The sad thing is they are saying in many cases what they believe.

Theirs is a society where knowledge is traditional; it's passed on; it's memorized. There is very little self-criticism; there's no rational thinking.

(Matthews interrupts, saying they were getting close to to a "possible ethnic slur.")

CM: ... You're saying they're not capable of that kind of introspection.

HH: A few are but the prevailing mood in Arab intellectual circles is one of simply following tradition and when tradition does not provide answers to the problems before them, they go deeply into denial. And once in denial, they cling to an interpretation that in our point of view does not correspond with the facts, but is nevertheless comforting.

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