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America's intentions

Reader comment on item: In 1796, U.S. Vowed Friendliness With Islam

Submitted by Safraz (United States), Nov 7, 2006 at 12:18

"And this one-sided legacy continues to the present. The Bush administration responded to acts of unprovoked Muslim aggression not with hostility toward Islam but with offers of financial aid and attempts to build democracy in the Muslim world."

But is this true Dr. Pipes? As you insinuated, the aggression came from radical Islam of the Wahabbi strain - and not from the mainstream Islam with which American made the treaty.

So the financial aid and the building of democracy is, in my view, an attempt to shore up America's primary allies in the war - mainstream and moderate Islam. The problem is that most ordinary moderate Muslims have a strong distrust of America's intentions.

I am a Muslim that believes that America intends to do good - but I have to tell you, most Muslims I meet don't believe this - they believe that America is really after oil, and colonial power and control etc. etc. And you cant' really blame them at this point, because America's primary Cold War strategy was about supporting brutal dictators in the third world, in some cases destroying democracies, and disregarding the freedoms and rights of ordinary citizens of the third world in order to beat the Soviets. So most Muslims (and most in the entire third world actually) distrust Americas intentions now based on that sordid past.

This is of course a major problem - a public relations problem. The stress on America's record in rebuilding Japan and Germany is a good start. Now we must show that we are not going to abandon Iraq, and rebuild it as we promised to do in the first place. If Iraq can follow in the footsteps of Japan and Germany, the sacrifice would've been well worth it for the generations of Americans to come.



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