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Motivations

Reader comment on item: America's Know-Nothing Diplomacy [article]

Submitted by Alex, Nov 10, 2016 at 10:44

I personally suspect that the attitude Dr. Pipes identifies here has two deeper motivations:

1) A modern Western view of history as linearly progressive, as summed up in the quote from John Wolf that Dr. Pipes cites, "My lack of experience was an advantage. I learned that in the Middle East, people always tend to look back, and I was asking them to look to the future." This contrasts exactly with the "old man's theory of time" that Marshall Hodgson often noted in Islamic political culture.

2) Antisemitism; the men who Western nations dispatched to the Middle East during the Colonial and post-WWI eras were almost all raised as Christians, and I think they knew subconsciously that the Jews were the good guys, but desired more strongly to project an exotic romanticism onto Muslim peoples than to spread American values via their more likely allies in doing so. It is one thing to view history as inevitably arriving at progress and another to view the world in culturally binary terms, and antiSemitism (I suspect) was and is the vehicle for combining these two beliefs.


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Reader comments (26) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
Those who read my former comment didn't understand it. [294 words]Wallace BrandNov 18, 2016 00:01234129
King-Crane-Mission: A Fool's Errand [156 words]Jorg Thomas MeyerNov 14, 2016 07:07234068
Impartial [12 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
AlbertE.Nov 13, 2016 22:34234057
King and Crain got it right [375 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
jackNov 13, 2016 22:01234054
1English error [52 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Marjorie GannNov 12, 2016 23:54234015
3A Toast to Hillary [97 words]Dan Schwartz, Cherry Hill, NJNov 11, 2016 14:02233961
1Spengler replies [587 words]Dan SchwartzNov 11, 2016 13:58233960
"What is Alepo []sic]? [22 words]Dan SchwartzNov 11, 2016 13:49233959
You have overlooked "The Inquiry" [2603 words]Wallace BrandNov 11, 2016 01:58233950
In defence of Gary Johnson and of humanity ... [261 words]Anne JulienneNov 11, 2016 00:43233949
Time To Tap The Freelance Counter-Jihadis [201 words]DaveNov 10, 2016 21:28233948
Ignorance in Diplomacy Always Leads to War [294 words]M ToveyNov 10, 2016 14:14233940
1Preferred Trump Admin. Choices [102 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Rich McNov 10, 2016 13:52233939
Washington DC and US SD [54 words]stevenlNov 10, 2016 13:09233938
Seriously? [16 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
RaquelNov 10, 2016 11:38233935
Motivations [184 words]AlexNov 10, 2016 10:44233932
ignorance combined with experience is worse [122 words]mythNov 10, 2016 10:08233931
Simply Aghast [29 words]Barry BlackNov 10, 2016 09:10233929
You did the right thing .. [202 words]Anne JulienneNov 13, 2016 00:50233929
Smart Presidents, stupid commissions. [287 words]Michael SNov 10, 2016 08:28233927
4Lack of expertise and knowledge about foreign countries among US "experts" [280 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Grigorij SerscikovNov 10, 2016 03:48233921
2Russia is ahead of US knowledge of local languages [144 words]dhimmi no moreNov 13, 2016 10:41233921
1Russia is ahead of US knowledge of local languages [135 words]Grigorij SerscikovNov 15, 2016 03:55233921
count Putin in [77 words]mythNov 15, 2016 09:35233921
Comment on America's Know-Nothing Diplomacy [50 words]Grigorij SerscikovNov 18, 2016 03:52233921
US is far behind in knowledge of local languages [151 words]dhimmi no moreNov 18, 2016 07:13233921

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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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