Friday, April 28, 2006

I suppose looking at the U.S. from the outside, it would be tempting to assume that we are simply belligerent morons who will happily torture, imprison or kill whoever we want, regardless of whether they pose any actual threat to us, and that we will happily destroy the economy and infrastructure of any country whose leaders we do not like. And this would be a fairly accurate assessment. By "we," I mean the collective whole of which we are a part, depressing though that may be for those of us who disagree with what the behemoth "we" is doing.

To us, the Muslim world sometimes looks like a bunch of raving loonies who have no sense of self-preservation and will happily do anything to bring us down. But look at the evidence - a tiny faction of the raving loonies have managed to destroy two large buildings and some airplanes. We've destroyed entire countries, massacred entire armies. We have left allies to die alone after promising them our support. We are a destabilizing influence in the Middle East.

So I think it's a bit silly to argue that we should be afraid of what the Islamic countries of the Middle East will do to us, as if it is they who are behaving irrationally.

I don't mean to imply that we are evil. We aren't. But sometimes it's more instructive to judge a country by what it does, than what it intends. Especially when one is a citizen of that country.


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