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Pat Buchanan: Arabs Have a Point

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    Might the Arabs Have a Point? by Patrick J. Buchanan The American Conservative 16 January 2006 http://amconmag.com/2006/2006_01_16/buchanan.html Karen Hughes,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 13, 2006
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      Might the Arabs Have a Point?
      by Patrick J. Buchanan
      The American Conservative
      16 January 2006
      http://amconmag.com/2006/2006_01_16/buchanan.html


      Karen Hughes, President Bush's newest undersecretary of state for
      public diplomacy and the caretaker of America's image abroad, has her
      work cut out for her.

      A Zogby survey of 3,900 Arabs in Morocco, Egypt, Saudi Arabia,
      Lebanon, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates has uncovered massive
      distrust of U.S. motives in the Middle East.

      Unkindest cut of all, Arabs would prefer that President Chirac and
      France lead the world rather than us, and, rather than have us as the
      world's lone superpower, they would prefer the Chinese.

      While Arabs are not as rabidly anti-American as in the aftermath of
      the Iraq invasion, still, by 77 percent to 6 percent, they believe the
      Iraqi people are worse off today, and by four-to-one, Arabs say the
      U.S. invasion has increased, not decreased, terrorism.

      Designed by Arab scholar Shibley Telhami of the Brookings Institution,
      the survey reveals pervasive cynicism about the stated goals of George
      W. Bush. When asked, "When you consider American objectives in the
      Middle East, what factors do you think are important to the United
      States?" the Arab answers came as follows:

      Fully 76 percent said the Americans are there for the oil, 68 percent
      said to protect Israel, 63 percent to dominate the region, and 59
      percent to weaken the Muslim world. Only 6 percent said we were there
      to protect human rights and another 6 percent said to promote
      democracy. Asked directly if they believe President Bush when he says
      democracy is our goal, two of every three Arabs, 78 percent in Egypt,
      said that, no, they do not believe Bush.

      Asked to name the two nations that present the greatest threat to
      regional peace, 70 percent named Israel, 63 percent the United States,
      and 11 percent Britain. Only 6 percent named our bĂȘte noire Iran.

      Asked to name the foreign leader they disliked most, Sharon swept top
      honors with 45 percent. Bush took the silver with 30 percent. No one
      else was close. Tony Blair came in a weak third. Only 3 percent of the
      Arabs detest him most.

      While only 6 percent agreed with al-Qaeda's aim to establish an
      Islamic state and only 7 percent approve of its methods, 20 percent
      admire the way al-Qaeda "stood up for Muslim causes" and 36 percent
      admire how it "confronts the U.S."

      Favorite news source? Sixty-five percent named Al-Jazeera either as
      their favorite or second favorite. What Fox News is to red-state
      America, Al-Jazeera is to the Arab street.

      America's standing in the Arab world could hardly be worse. And the
      questions the survey raises are these: Do we care? And, if we do, do
      not the Arabs have a point? Has not U.S. behavior in the Middle East
      lent credence to the view that our principal interests are Israel and
      oil, and, under Bush II, that we launched an invasion to dominate the
      region?

      After all, before liberating Kuwait, Secretary of State Baker said the
      coming war was about "o-i-l." And while we sent half a million troops
      to rescue that nation of 1.5 million, we sent none to Rwanda, where
      perhaps that many people were massacred.

      If Kuwait did not sit on an underground sea of oil, would we have gone
      in? Is our military presence in the Mideast unrelated to its control
      of two-thirds of the world's oil reserves?

      If human rights is our goal, why have we not gone into Darfur, the
      real hellhole of human rights? If democracy is what we are fighting
      for, why did we not invade Cuba, a dictatorship, 90 miles away, far
      more hostile to America than Saddam's Iraq, and where human rights
      have been abused for half a century? Saddam never hosted nuclear
      missiles targeted at U.S. cities.

      And is Israel not our fair-haired boy? Though Sharon & Co. have
      stomped on as many UN resolutions as Saddam Hussein ever did, they
      have pocketed $100 billion in U.S. aid and are now asking for a $2
      billion bonus this year, Katrina notwithstanding. Anyone doubt they
      will get it?

      Though per capita income in Israel is probably 20 times that of the
      Palestinians, Israel gets the lion's share of economic aid. And though
      they have flipped off half a dozen presidents to plant half a million
      settlers in Arab East Jerusalem and the West Bank, have we ever
      imposed a single sanction on Israel? Has Bush ever raised his voice to
      Ariel Sharon? And when you listen to the talking heads and read the
      columns of the neocon press, is it unfair to conclude that, yes, they
      would like to dump over every regime that defies Bush or Sharon?

      Empathy, a capacity for participating in another's feelings or ideas,
      is indispensable to diplomacy. Carried too far, as it was by the Brits
      in the 1930s, it can lead to appeasement. But an absence of empathy
      can leave statesmen oblivious as to why their nation is hated, and
      with equally fateful consequences.

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