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Bushworld vs. the Caliphate

Reader comment on item: The Caliphate: Updates

Submitted by Ethan Boger (United States), Dec 19, 2005 at 18:57

... Let us not forget that the Middle East has very valid reasons to hate the West. For a hundred years the ME has been a pawn in its hands, from the Versailles treaty to Mossadegh to the arms race that flooded the area with weaponry of all sorts, to the entrenchment of Western armies in the heart of it.

Let us not forget the billions and billions of petrodollars from the West to corrupt and reactionary regimes that fueled the spread of Wahhabism to Pakistan and Afganistan, that it was the US that armed 100,000 mujaheddin, that we provided billions in arms and aid to Hussein AFTER he gassed the Kurds.

And let's not kid ourselves about that vaunted, peace-loving democracy, Israel.... I lived there for many years and saw how the Palestinians were first deemed to be non-existent, how the moderate political leadership on the West Bank was dismembered, how the population became radicalized by years of economic strangulation and encroachment.

It is undoubtedly true that the ME is filled with corrupt, tyrannical regimes. It is undoubtedly true that Wahhabism is a doctrine that promotes hate. The realities of life in the ME were shaped by generations that survived on the back of tribalism. Five hundred years of Ottoman repression did not help. But to suggest that world domination by the radical Islamists is a serious threat is laughable.

It is rather more alarming to consider the other pole: If it's world domination you want read the 1992 Defense Planning Guidance or the 1998 Project for a New American Century.

To summarize, my postulate is this: the ME is more alarmed by our incursions on to their turf than ever we need be by theirs on to ours. Politically powerless as they are, their chief weapon has been terror. Our response to their reaction is feeding their flame and making them ever more fearful and radicalized. Unfortunately this reality feeds right into the hands of those in the West whose vision is a 21st crusade.

Those of us who bother to think and write about these matters should be striving to put out the fire rather than fanning the flames.

Ethan Boger
Cincinnati
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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