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Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia

What If America Were
Wiped Off the Map?



By Ali Saad Al-Mousa

Why and how did we get to this alarming point of systemic hate? What removed our human nature to the extent that we gloat over others in the moment of crisis?

Translated By Emily Schlomann

31 October 2012

Edited by Lau­rence Bouvard


Saudi Arabia - Al-Watan - Original Article (Arabic)

For our own good, it's necessary that we be tough while facing the question: Why and how did we get to this alarming point of systemic hate? What removed our human nature to the extent that we gloat over others in the moment of crisis?

Last night I stayed up with one eye fixed on the TV with Hurricane Sandy, the other on our community's Twitter, where commentators blessed this hurricane as if we were beasts in the jungle. I'd hoped that it would not teach me about one of the disparities in attitudes: I recognize the difference between American society, mired in a humanitarian crisis, and the political elite. But the tweeted joy that expressed the wish to wipe America off the map is both monstrous and schizophrenic. In my dictionary, a neutral grey zone does not exist. To those brutes who wish to wipe the Northeast of the U.S. — upon which we are unquestionably dependent — off the map, consider the following facts. The area where Sandy made landfall is the world's research lab, which has had an impact on every aspect of our lives, from health to pocket PC devices. In the states affected by Sandy are six of the world's top ten universities: Harvard, MIT, Yale, Princeton, Duke and Columbia. These universities are the research labs of the world, producing cancer research to "What's App," which you curse and nonetheless carry around in your pocket, because you're dependent on that research. The East Coast is one quarter of the entire pharmaceutical industry: Harvard, for example, which carries patented insulin for diabetics, or Duke, where Viagra was created in the laboratory for the sake of your happily married life. Detroit, which brought you your remote-operated garage: Each button in your two hands is composed of thousands of scientists’ research, without you even knowing how to use these electronic buttons. What have you done on your own, even as you wish this part of the world off the map? The map affected by Sandy alone is the invention of the car, electricity and the telephone and also Viagra pills. What have you, the dependent consumer, done, wishing it were erased from the map? This world took you from the darkness of the Middle Ages to the 21st century; it put you on the map.



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