Arab-Americans Hoping to Export Economic Vision

A curious and perhaps important conference began this weekend in Detroit, Mich. — a state where 300,000 Arabs live. Most are Arab-Americans. Some are Arabs who want to be Americans and are waiting for their citizenship.

This economic conference reflected the Arab community's interest in bringing the free market to the countries from which they come... including Iraq.

Attending the conference was Amr Moussa (search), who is head of the Arab League (search).

This is a very big deal. If Moussa happened to open his ears and hear what his fellow Arabs in Michigan were telling him, he'd hear that they think they can bring the democratizing powers of free enterprise to Iraq and elsewhere in the Arab world.

Moussa can't fail but notice the prosperity among his fellow Arabs in Michigan, and then compare it with the poverty that grips much of the Arab world.

What do you think Moussa will tell the Arab League when he goes home? "American-Arabs are doing great? We need to bring this system to our restless and frustrated masses?"

That would mean saying to his Arab constituents that the American system was good and that they should emulate it.

That would probably get him killed in a lot of places. My bet is Moussa keeps his lips zipped when he gets home.

The American Arabs in Michigan will probably have to spread the good news on their own.

Moussa has had his job for a long time. Shutting up about what he saw in Michigan will ensure he keeps it.

That's My Word.

What do you think? We'd like to hear from you, so send us your comments at Some of your e-mails will be featured on the air or on our site.

Looking for previous My Word columns?
  Click here!