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No right side

Reader comment on item: The Snipers: Crazy or Jihadis?
in response to reader comment: "Stealing Arab land"? I think not.

Submitted by Daniel (United States), Jan 9, 2009 at 12:14

These comments do make some valid points. Speaking as a rather un-religious and politically centrist American, I have taken a strong interest in our nation's relations with the Arab world. I am appalled at the history of colonial imperialsm that wrecked the established order that had kept the Middle East and Africa in a state of relative peace for centuries.

But I also wonder why so many in the greater Arab and Muslim world blame the United States for this history when it was in fact a US president, Woodrow Wilson, who opposed the very idea of imperialism after the first world war. I also find it interesting that the Arab world to this day decries the Crusades, and in many respects are still trying to fight the conflicts of centuries ago. Yet they have forgotten that the Crusades were, in fact, the European response to the attempted Muslim conquest of Europe.

And certainly, I am deeply aggravated at the actions of Israel and of our nation's unending support for it. I will be relieved to see our current president, who gave Israel a free hand to do as it pleases, out of office. But I am amazed by the attitude the Arab world seems to hold toward Israel-that the Israelis should simply sit back and take all their hostility while handing over territory or won over legitimatetly in armed conflict and expect nothing in return for it.

They have managed to forget that they were the one's who rejected offers to have a Palestinian nation alongside Israel and gauranteed peace not once, but several times. That they were the ones who instigated several wars against Israel, and yet screamed about the unfairness when they were beaten back. And they have been bickering and infighting for decades since the end of the second world war, and yet decry US support of the one truly open, free democracy in the region. Certainly I think the entire Western hemisphere as acted with incredible arrogance and ignorance in the entire region for too long. But I also think that in the modern age the arrogance and ignorance coming from the other side is equally intolerable, and just as big a block to progress.

I think an important step would be for the greater Arab community to abandon feelings of entitlement and vicitimazation. Isreal is there and it's not going to be destroyed. Grow up and learn to deal with it. The Egyptians and Jordinians did, and they have actually benefited from it. Yes, the Western world has a history of imperialism in the Arab World. But that ended more than half a century ago. Its in the past, leave it in the history books where it belongs, and start looking at things as they are today.

And finally, let go of this passe idea of some sort of Arab unity. Its been long since disproved. Each Arab nation should start focusing in its own problems first rather than wasting its resources on an outdated struggle at some sort of Arab empire in the Middle East and North Africa. Its not going to happen. And finally, stop complaining about your problems and start trying to DO something about them. I dare say, the rest of the world, the United States especially, might be a lot more inclined to be more helpful than detrimental in the region if the Arab nations will start helping themselves first instead of expecting rewards for nothing.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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