hussein: one of the most tired arguments is just to claim that racism is behind the outrage. nobody will take you seriously unless you can point to a single person that anyone said -the author or the commenters- that is racist. really, you are the only one dropping nationalistic or ethnic slurs ("americans are too dumb."). grown folks are trying to have a reasonable discussion so unless you have actual facts to point to, please sit quietly in the corner.
one the complicated aspects of globalization is that as non-Western nations want to join the community of nations created by Western institutions and technology, they do not want to subject themselves to Western standards of skeptical analysis. is the new rule of political or social intercourse with the middle east that criticism = racism? so, i point out that women are abused and subjugated in Qatar and that makes me a racist? in the words of the great ochocinco, "child please."
my work send me to qatar and dubai quite often, and i will tell you bluntly that they are complicated places. while i applaud their efforts to use (some of) their petrodollars on things other than yachts and playboying it up, the architectural and cultural critic in me still sees manufactured cities like dubai and doha as having a unique melange of sterility, gaucheness, pretention and soullessness. are we not allowed to criticize a city anymore? just because doha and qatar are gauche and ridiculous attempts to buy credibility speaks to nothing more than a certain kind of vanity of those emirates' rulers, and is not a condemnation of the entire region or of all arabs everywhere.
reading this article i thought that if austin, texas had bid for the world cup, i would have laughed at their bid, but because qatar did i'm supposed to just look the other way? no, if you want to play in the West, you need to grow a thick skin. qatar is not fit to host the world cup, and that's that. it doesn't make me racist to say it, it just makes me not an idiot.
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