Is It As Silly As It Sounds?

The Bush administration’s Greater Middle East Initiative project may well be short lived.

Cherif Bassiouni, the noted international law professor, said in a recent interview that the Bush administration’s proposal for reforming the Arab world, called the Greater Middle East Initiative (GMEI), reminded him of an Arab folktale featuring Goha, a mythical character whose misadventures are the basis of popular adages.
In one of these fables, a man on his way home late at night stumbles upon Goha, who is crawling around the ground on his hands and knees, bathed in the glow of a solitary street lamp. The man asks what he’s doing. Looking for his watch, Goha replies, and gestures toward the other end of the street, which is pitch black. Puzzled, the man peers down the street, seeing nothing but darkness. “So, why are you looking here?” he asks.
“Because here,” Goha replies, “there is light.”

The Village Voice‘s Kareem Fahim reports on Bush’s plans for the Middle East.


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