George Kennedy Young’s ‘Arab Street’ Cultural Observation

Posted on February 16, 2011


Every now and then a current event – the sexual assault and beating of a young American reporter- (see below story) and a universally true cultural observation, come together in planetary alignment.  The quote I am about to furnish you with, was declared by a gentleman by the name of George Kennedy Young, a deputy director of MI6 in charge of the Middle East desk in the 1950’s.

His comments were the cause of a fair amount of hand wringing and offended sensibilities among the British government.   Apparently much of the squeamishness among liberals and ‘progressives’ in this country in their unwillingness to describe things that we all know to be true, is an inherited trait from the all pervasive bleeding heart mentality bequeathed to them from across the pond.   I digress.

The point is that Mr. Young laid out for us a very revealing assessment of the Arab temperament and social inclinations that many would be hard pressed to argue to the contrary even in our present day.

Anyway, here is the quote from George Kennedy Young and I’ll let you decide if you see in the ‘Arab Street’ what he saw while running Britain’s spy operation (SIS) in Tehran, Cairo and various other locales throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

I discovered the pattern of minds so different that I would have to abandon completely, the verbal descriptions we use automatically in European discourse.” He believed that the Arabs suffered from that ‘perpetual neurosis…which makes words like ‘truth’, ‘falsehood’, ‘sincerity’ and ‘treachery’ such inadequate descriptions when our ambassadors report on their dealings with Middle Eastern rulers’.

He wrote that men in the Arab lands had not evolved ‘from a tool-making animal’ into one conveying meaning ‘by conceptualized systems of symbols’ and thought that no matter ‘whatever wealth or material welfare they may acquire, either by their own acute intelligence or by the fruits of Western development and commerce, a point will always come when the discrepancy between their dreams and the reality becomes too great to bear and there will be a desperate effort to find relief in a new focus of hate’.

Young later told his officers that the Arab’s chief characteristic ‘is a simple joy in destruction which has to be experienced to be believed…There is no gladder sound to the Arab ear than the crunch of glass and his favorite spectacle is that of human suffering…While the European has been building, the Arab has looted and torn down’.

I don’t know if there is any more appropo lead in to today’s feature story of the ugly and demented behavior of the Arab street than what ‘GK’ as he was known to his comrades, furnished us with.

US reporter sexually assaulted in Egypt – CBS

TOP CBS foreign correspondent Lara Logan suffered a “brutal” sexual assault at the hands of a mob in Egypt while covering the downfall of president Hosni Mubarak, her US network says.

“She and her team and their security were surrounded by a dangerous element amidst the celebration. It was a mob of more than 200 people whipped into a frenzy,” CBS said in a statement today.

“In the crush of the mob, she was separated from her crew.

“She was surrounded and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers.”

The incident took place on Cairo’s central Tahrir Square last Friday, the day Mubarak stepped down, CBS said.

Logan was flown to the US the next day.

“She is currently in the hospital recovering,” the statement said.

South African-born Logan has covered the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, becoming one of the US media’s most recognizable war correspondents.