Bailey83221 (bailey83221) wrote,
Bailey83221
bailey83221

MY CRITIQUE:-------Ignoring The Root Causes Of Arab Rage: " Why Do They Hate Us?" by Fareed Zakaria

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Ignoring The Root Causes Of Arab Rage:
A critique of "The Politics of Rage: Why Do They Hate Us?"
Newsweek, By Fareed Zakaria
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http://www.fareedzakaria.com/articles/newsweek/101501_why.html
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Please read the above article before reading this critique.
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Mr. Fareed’s article does not answer the question, “Why do they Hate Us?”
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Instead, Mr. Fareed uses three subtle themes throughout his article:
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1) Blame The Victim,
2) Arrogance,
3) “Sins Of Omission”
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These three underlying themes to the question of “Why They Hate Us” embody a prevalent American foreign policy worldview, repeated in American schools and media, promoted by American politicians, and held by most Americans:
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* That America foreign policy is fundamental good and benign,
* That America foreign policy supports and strengthens democracy,
* That American’s system of government can be and should be applied to other cultures, sometimes with force if necessary, and
* That American’s system of government is superior to all others.
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The problem with these three underlying themes (Blame The Victim, Arrogance, and “Sins Of Omission”) is they are not only incorrect, ignore the root causes of Arab anger, and are based on naïve historical understanding of American foreign policy; they are also dangerous. As the Christian Science monitor wrote:
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“Trying to root out terrorism without re-plowing the soil in which it grows - which means rethinking the policies that breed anti-American sentiment - is unlikely to succeed, say ordinary Middle Easterners and some of their leaders.”
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Below I explain Mr. Fareed’s three underlying themes to the question “Why They Hate Us”, followed by several excerpts from Mr. Fareed’s article, illustrating these three themes.
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BLAME THE VICTIM
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Mr. Fareed uses a "blames the victim" argument (1), which is a very prevalent foreign policy ideology within the political right. The blame the victim argument is self-explanatory: the victim is to blame for its own anger, and the victim is responsible for his own plight.
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To illustrate the underlying weakness in Mr. Fareed “blame the victim” argument cosider the following hypothetical example:
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Imagine if during the cold war, the Soviets explained America’s hatred and fear of the Soviet Union because:
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“The American system is corrupt and Americans want the socialist equality that the Soviets provide”.
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Was this the actual central reason that America hated and feared the Soviet Union?
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Did pointing out Americas perceived failures truly show why America hated and feared the Soviet Union?”

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Mr. Fareed opinions are the opinions most readily accepted by the majority of Americans, it is much easier for the average American to “blame the victim” than to focus on the underlying roots of Arab rage: our foreign policy.
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ARROGANCE
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Throughout the article, there is an underlying arrogance that America knows better how to solve Muslim’s problems than Muslim’s do. (2a) There is also the underlying theme that America has saved Muslims from themselves in the past, and Americans hold the key to Muslim’s continued success. Mr. Fareed implies that the key to Arabs success is not in Arab culture, which he sees as a failure, but in continued American intervention. (2b) Mr. Fareed arguments support and foster America continuing "Gun-barrel diplomacy".
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“SINS OF OMISSION”
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Mr. Fareed mentions and acknowledges the real roots of Arabs rage, but only in passing. (3) Instead of exploring and expanding on these themes, Mr. Fareed swiftly passes over these central issues and quickly picks up with his “blaming the victim” argument again.

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---PART 2----
SPECIFIC EXAMPLES FROM THE TEXT OF MR. FAREED'S "THE POLITICS OF RAGE: WHY DO THEY HATE US?" ILLUSTRATING MR. FAREED’S THREE UNDERLYING VIEWS: 1) BLAME THE VICTIM, 2) ARROGANCE, 3) “SINS OF OMISSION”

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(1) WHY DO THEY HATE US? “BLAME THE VICTIM” EXAMPLES FROM MR. FAREED’S TEXT:
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“…Only when you get to the Middle East do you see in lurid colors all the dysfunctions”
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“…We stand for freedom and they hate it. We are rich and they envy us. We are strong and they resent this. All of which is true”
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“…They come out of a culture that reinforces their hostility, distrust and hatred of the West--and of America in particular.”
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“…What has gone wrong in the world of Islam”
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“…To understand the roots of anti-American rage in the Middle East, we need to plumb not the past 300 years of history but the past 30.” …Etc.
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“ …Chapter II: Failed Ideas… Chapter III: Enter Religion”
(Comments: By subtle implication, these chapter headings suggested that the Arabic religion only fosters these “failed” ideas.”)
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"…Fascists were often very effective at providing social services…Islamic fundamentalism--is specific to this region, but the basic dynamic is similar to the rise of Nazism, fascism and even populism in the United States."
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“Fashionable intellectuals… would critique American secularism and consumerism and endorse an Islamic alternative…they appealed to the half-educated hordes entering the cities of the Middle East”
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“…The disproportionate feelings of grievance directed at America have to be placed in the overall context of the sense of humiliation, decline and despair that sweeps the Arab world.”
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“…political, economic and cultural collapse that lies at the roots of Arab rage.”
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(2) WHY DO THEY HATE US? ARROGANCE EXAMPLES FROM MR. FAREED’S TEXT:
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BROKEN DOWN INTO TWO SECTIONS:
[SECTION A] AMERICA HAS THE SOLUTION TO THE ARAB WORLDS PROBLEMS…
[SECTION B] …THUS THIS WARRANTS CONTINUED INTERVENTION IN THE ARAB WORLDS AFFAIRS:

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[SECTION A:]
AMERICA HAS THE SOLUTION TO THE ARAB WORLD’S PROBLEMS…

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“…The biggest, Indonesia, had, until the recent Asian economic crisis, been diligently following Washington's advice on economics, with impressive results.”
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“…Most Americans think that Arabs should be grateful for our role in the gulf war, for we saved Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.”
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“…Look at (Singapore, Hong Kong and Seoul which are successes). They have simply (copied) the West. Their cities are cheap copies of Houston and Dallas.”
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“…This disillusionment with the West is at the heart of the Arab problem. It makes economic advance impossible and political progress fraught with difficulty.”
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“…At least the Africans want to adapt to the new global economy. The Arab world has not yet taken that first step.”
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“…The Shah of Iran
(Comments: Americas dictator that was installed by a CIA coup), the Middle Eastern ruler who tried to move his country into the modern era fastest, reaped the most violent reaction in the Iranian revolution of 1979.”
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“…As for politics, the gulf governments offered their people a bargain: we will bribe you with wealth, but in return let us stay in power. It was the inverse slogan of the American revolution--no taxation, but no representation either.”
(Comments: i.e. Americans system is the correct path, Arabs path is not)
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“…The next section deals with what the United States can do to help the Islamic world. But if Muslims do not take it upon themselves to stop their religion from falling prey to medievalists, nothing any outsider can do will save them.”
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[SECTION B:]
…THUS THIS WARRANTS CONTINUED AMERICAN INTERVENTION IN ARAB WORLDS AFFAIRS. EXAMPLES FROM MR. FAREED’S TEXT:

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“In my view, America's greatest sins toward the Arab world are sins of omission.” (Comments: i.e. we should interfere with Arab culture even more)
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“… Every person who plans and helps in a terrorist operation must understand that he will be tracked and punished. Their operations will be disrupted, their finances drained, their hideouts destroyed.”
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“…The United States must help Islam enter the modern world.”
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“…It sounds like an impossible challenge, and it certainly is not one we would have chosen.”
(Comments: “The reluctant hero, who reluctantly helps others” prevalent myth)
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“…The world is indeed uniting around American leadership, and perhaps we will see the emergence, for a while, of a new global community and consensus, which could bring progress in many other areas of international life.”
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“…The political strategy is more complex and more ambitious. At the broadest level, we now have a chance to reorder the international system around this pressing new danger…Even some that have clearly supported terrorism in the past, like Iran, seem interested in re-entering the world community and reforming their ways.
( (Emphasis mine)
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“…There is a way to reorient our policy to focus our pressure on Saddam and not his people, contain him militarily but not harm common Iraqis economically.”
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“…On Israel …we should continue trying to construct a final deal along the lines that Bill Clinton and Ehud Barak outlined.”
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“…But America…faces a dire security threat that will not be resolved unless we can stop the political, economic and cultural collapse that lies at the roots of Arab rage.”
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“…During the cold war the West employed myriad ideological strategies to discredit the appeal of communism, make democracy seem attractive and promote open societies. We will have to do something on that scale to win this cultural struggle.”
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“…First, we have to help moderate Arab states, but on the condition that they embrace moderation.”
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“…We can fund moderate Muslim groups and scholars and broadcast fresh thinking across the Arab world, all aimed at breaking the power of the fundamentalists.”
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“…Obviously we will have to help construct a new political order in Afghanistan after we have deposed the Taliban regime. But beyond that we have to press the nations of the Arab world--and others, like Pakistan, where the virus of fundamentalism has spread--to reform, open up and gain legitimacy.”
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“We need to do business with these regimes…we can ally with these dictatorships and still push them toward reform.”
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“…For those who argue that we should not engage in nation-building…(But) we have no option but to get back into the nation-building business.”
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“…If the West can help Islam enter modernity in dignity and peace, it will have done more than achieved security. It will have changed the world.”
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(3) WHY DO THEY HATE US? “SINS OF OMISSION” EXAMPLES FROM MR. FAREED’S TEXT
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[Notice in these article exerpts how Mr. Fareed brings up the true fundamental reasons Arabs hate America, but he either:
a) Justifies Americas action and/or
b) He neglects to fully answer why these are Arab criticisms of America]
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“...Regimes that might have seemed promising in the 1960s were now exposed as tired, corrupt kleptocracies, deeply unpopular and thoroughly illegitimate. One has to add that many of them are close American allies.”
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“...Elsewhere, they look at American policy in the region as cynically geared to America's oil interests, supporting thugs and tyrants without any hesitation. Finally, the bombing and isolation of Iraq have become fodder for daily attacks on the United States. While many in the Arab world do not like Saddam Hussein, they believe that the United States has chosen a particularly inhuman method of fighting him--a method that is starving an entire nation... There is substance to some of these charges, and certainly from the point of view of an Arab, American actions are never going to seem entirely fair.
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“...Walking away from that fractured country after 1989 resulted in the rise of bin Laden and the Taliban…Yet carelessness is not enough to explain Arab rage.”
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(Comments: Fareed does not mention how America created bin Laden and the jihad while fighting the Soviets. Mr. Fareed justifies America “walking away” from Afghanistan by quoting F. Scott Fitzgerald. No mention is made of the Muslims feeling that Americans “abandoned (the Afghani fighters) at the end of the war in Afghanistan, and sought to disarm and disperse them.” ['Why do they hate us?' Christian Science Monitor http://www.csmonitor.com/2001/0927/p1s1-wogi.html]
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Fareed’s quote feeds the “America as fundamentally good” myth. As F. Scott Fitzgerald says, when America creates misery in the world they are simply “careless”, and do not actually intend misery. The underlying message: America is “a gentle giant”: fundamentally good.)

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“… We have no inspectors in Iraq, the sanctions are--for whatever reason--starving Iraqis and he continues to build chemical and biological weapons.”
(Comments: What are the reasons that “sanctions are…starving Iraqis? Mr. Fareed ignores this question)
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“… Even Egypt…allows its controlled media to rant crazily about America and Israel. (That way they don't rant about the dictatorship they live under.)…”
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“…Egypt for all the repression …”
( Comments: No mention of America’s continued support of this dictatorship)

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ALTERNATIVE ARTICLES WHICH MORE FULLY ANSWER THE QUESTION: “WHY DO THEY HATE US?”
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The following two articles give a clearer reason behind "Why they hate us" and America's historical foreign policy failures:
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'Why Do They Hate Us?'
Christian Science Monitor
http://www.csmonitor.com/2001/0927/p1s1-wogi.html
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"Why Gun-Barrel Democracy Doesn't Work "
http://www.hooverdigest.org/042/bdm.html See also: http://bailey83221.livejournal.com/69507.html
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