Originally Posted by registerthis
Very, very true, I don't disagree with any of this.
But you can provide a respect for their culture while not agreeing with certain aspects of it. U.S. foreign policy has been very one-sided with regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, our military presence in the region is to protect our oil interests, we have consistently supported and propped up dictatorships and authoritarians with atrocious human rights records when it has suited our interests, etc.
I agree that the Muslim world is largely in need ot a giant kick in the rear. They're living, culturally, in the stone age, particularly with their treatment of women and religious fanaticism. But the best way to see improvement in these areas is by offering humanitarian and economic aid, supporting truly democratic movements, providing money and assistance for education and cultural institutions (and tie that money directly to assurances that women will be allowed to participate actively), etc.
The fact that they view the U.S. as 85% Jewish is a remarkable figure.
I agree with everything you said as well, hopefully I didn't come off as too one-sided in the Israeli-Palestinian thing. It's just when I step back from the situation a little bit and try to look at it in a completely neutral way I see one side trying a lot harder than the other. That being said I think Mahmoud Abbas has done an outstanding job of trying to swing things in the right direction since Arafat passed away and hopefully he can curtail most if not all the militant activity that goes on daily such as firing rockets into Jewish settlements. The hard-line Jewish settlers that are demonstrating and protesting about having to move are not helping the situation either.
As for the US, I agree we have propped up brutal dictatorships(Iraq) in the past and continue to prop up shady ones(Saudi Arabia) to this day. We need to take our hands off the puppet strings and let the people of those countries decide their own fate. If that involves violent civil uprisings then so be it, but we shouldn't be saying who runs countries half a world away. By the way, I don't hold this position for Afghanistan, I believe we needed to go in there and take care of business for what happened on 9/11. I think if we would have concentrated our manpower and all of our efforts there instead of jumping into another conflict a couple countries over, the world would be a much better place for it.
As for aid, I don't have the exact numbers in front of me but after Israel I believe I read that Egypt is the second largest recipient of US aid in the entire world. So a largely Muslim country is getting the second most aid dollars that we spend every year. Now the common guy on the street in Cairo may not see that as all that great because he may view Egypt's government as yet another puppet that we control the strings of but it's not like we aren't offering aid to any Muslim countries.