Monday, November 29, 2004

It's the Policies, Stupid

A month or so ago, I read a book called Imperial Hubris by Anonymous, which said, basically, that Arab and Muslim countries hate the United States because of our actions, and not because of our way of life. Anonymous has since gone public; he is Mike Scheuer, a veteran CIA officer in charge of the bin Laden unit. Scheuer was instantly forced to resign his CIA post in a minor uproar over his (now open) dissent against the way the war on terror was and is being fought by the Bush administration.

Now, curiously enough, a report has come out (after it was leaked by the New York Times last Wednesday), not from the CIA, but from the Pentagon, making the same criticisms about the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and the war on terror in general. Here is a passage from the report, as quoted in the Christian Science Monitor:

Muslims do not hate our freedom, but rather they hate our policies. The overwhelming majority voice their objections to what they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights, and the long-standing, even increasing, support for what Muslims collectively see as tyrannies, most notably Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan and the Gulf states. Thus, when American public diplomacy talks about bringing democracy to Islamic societies, this is seen as no more than self-serving hypocrisy.

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