Friday, March 7, 2008

Is it us, is it them, or a bit of both?

An interesting bit of news from the Int'l Herald Tribune:

In his recently published book, "Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam after Iraq," Scheuer argues that the United States faces more trouble because its leaders refuse to recognize what drives terrorism.

President George W. Bush argues that terrorists "hate our freedoms, our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote." But polls show that the bedrock of support for militancy among the world's 1.3 billion Muslims is the detestation of U.S. foreign policies.

Scheuer faults U.S. leaders for failing to acknowledge the grievances that bin Laden laid out in precise detail, which were adopted by the followers he inspired. They were: the U.S. presence in the Arabian Peninsula; unqualified support for Israel; U.S. support for states oppressing Muslims, especially China, India and Russia; U.S. exploitation of Muslim oil; U.S. support and financing of authoritarian Arab regimes.

Tony Blair, at his speech at DePauw University on 3/3 echoed George W Bush's arguement that it is a clash of values and not policies.

I suspect it is a bit of both. Even Mr. Blair said, that fixing the Israeli-Palestinian problem was necessary to defeating terrorism, which is now his main focus, as special envoy to the Middle East.

The article noted this bit of irony:

Polls show that radicals - potential suicide bombers and hostage takers - and moderate Muslims are in favor of moving toward more democracy, a process stifled in many places by authoritarian rulers who enjoy the backing of the United States.

It cemented its reputation as the superpower of hypocrites after one of the very few democratic elections in Middle Eastern history, the 2006 vote in which Palestinians opted for the Islamist party Hamas over Fatah, the corrupt ruling bureaucracy built up by Yasser Arafat. The closely monitored election was deemed free and fair.

The United States responded by boycotting Hamas and backing Fatah

Just because there is an election doesn't mean we (the US) have to like who is elected. Just ask Hugo Chavez, or Allende, to name just two off the top of my head.

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