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"Respect" not enough

Reader comment on item: Obama, "Respect" and Muslims

Submitted by Amy Watkins (United Kingdom), Apr 13, 2009 at 12:54

I agree that subtle changes in rhetoric are not going to change "hearts and minds" in the Middle East and that it is our actions that determine our reputation. In fact, is America's numerous foreign policy mistakes over the past century that have provided a foundation for much of the anti-American sentiment.

This is not to say that all anti-Americanism is undeserved, but I do think that if we want a more peaceful Middle East we will have to respond not only with respect and humility, which are both important, but also with real changes in foreign policy. For example, we could stop providing unconditional support to Israel. On the other hand, we could be pushing harder for human rights in Saudi Arabia. And as terrible as the leadership in Iran is, and as much as they owe us an apology, we also owe them an apology for looking the other way when Sadaam Hussein used chemical weapons against Iranian civilians. We will show our "respect" through actions.

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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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