the root cause?

I left some links at Dean's site, to which he has responded:

Every time I hit a Muslim site, I see stuff about how Israel is the cause of unrest in the Middle East, how America is often responsible for the "root causes" of terrorism, and so on. Even when I read Aziz' site--not that he's not patriotic, because he pretty apparently is--I see this same sort of stuff, along with airy dismissals of any attempt by Muslims to change their image in the US.

If he reads my words as an airy dismissal, then I submit that he hasn't read what I wrote carefully. The relevant part is this, with full context:

But let me assure him and you that as a Muslim, I don't really CARE how Islam is perceived by non-Muslims. I care how Islam is perceived by Muslims.
the effort that Muslims would have to make in order to get media coverage to satisfy the opinion of Steven and others like him who rely exclusively on western media for information about the Islamic world, would be wasted. Positive coverage lasts only as long as the next tragedy. That energy would be better spent - and is being better spent - inwards.

you could summarize my view as simply, spend time on the financials, not the statements. The latter problem will solve itself. This is not very differnet from teh dogma of the warblog crowd that creation of the hypothetical America-friendly client democracy in Iraq would lead to the reform ofthe Arab world. We are both talking about root causes, on different scales. Dean seems like a guy who could really be fun to talk to (It would be interesting to discuss my neo-con vs neo-wilson dichotomy with him), but I have a reasonable expectation of an effort to understancd what I'm saying than (essentially) an airy dismissal of them.

As for root causes, I share Bill Allison's view that the problem in the middle east is more due to tyranny, rather than anti-semitism. Hatred of Jews, like love of C4, tends to be a distraction by the rulers of most Arab countries, which gives them a free pass from domestic challenges to their authority. Where Bill and I disagree is on the cause of that tyranny - I blame decades of short-sighted post-colonial foreign policy, exemplified by the Reagan Administration support of Saddam but also continued in the Clinton and now Bush support of Hosni Mubarak. And the Bush 41 and 43 support of the Saudis.

I'm strictly a "people are rational actors" goy - I don't sneer at the unwashed masses. But people are human and their basic desires don't vary (good and bad). And the masses of the Middle East need to be freed of their tyrants. But they have to earn that freedom by doing it themselves.

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