July 8, 2019
As we’ve mentioned many times before, one of the fundamental mistakes that Western analysts and leaders make when dealing with the Middle East is not understanding the honor/shame culture of Arab and Muslim societies.
Western Liberal thought is based on the idea that everyone is generally the same and thinks the same way. The concept that some people think in a fundamentally different way appears, on some level, to be racist, and therefore the truth is ignored. This leads to catastrophic results in the basic assumptions of how to deal with Arabs and Muslims. Westerners understand that they must not shame members of these societies but assume that this is more an etiquette issue than something that must be thoroughly understood – and that can be used to advantage.
The mistake of assuming that the other side thinks the same way is not only done by the Western side. A small story in the Iranian media illustrates this perfectly:
TEHRAN – The commander of the Civil Defense Organization said on Sunday that the U.S. has sent a message to Iran saying it wanted to conduct a limited strike against the country in order to save face after Iran shot down its drone.
“After the downing…