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Debate on the Middle East

Tom Grey said: "The REASON article by Jonathan Raunch states: "Perhaps the most awkward and obnoxious of America's Cold War alignments were in the Arab world. Washington supported tyrannies and monarchies that wrecked their economies and stunted their politics." Steve Margulies comments: "He conveniently ignores that our responsibilities go far beyond merely supporting these tin-pan dictators, but more often than not, creating, supporting, funding and defending them as well. The Shah in Iran, the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan (who morphed into the Taliban and Al-Qeda), Saddam himself. History is rife with countless other, but less embarrassing US creations. In Africa alone, the blood of literally millions of victims is on the hands of U.S. policy makers by the dictators they created. One U.S. Military action (steeped in worldwide debate and viewed with strong suspicion by Arabs everywhere) does not reverse 100 years of various exploitation and oppression.

I mean no disrespect, but (IMHO) it is much too early to start patting ourselves on our collective back as to the effects of whatever Bush's unclear policy may be (and a single military action does not a policy make). Isolated over here on this side of the Atlantic, it is easy to forget or ignore that most of the rest of the world did not condone war as a viable solution, and what comes of the "rebuilding of Iraq" remains to be seen. There are several current reports of Iraqi doctors in an uproar because the individual chosen (by America) to oversee the rebuilding of the Health/Medical infrastructure is apparently the same individual who got rich ruining it under Saddam.

In a sense, President Bush might be applauded for beginning the long process of "cleaning up" our historical/political blunders, but certainly not because we "remained, through it all, on the right side of history".

Ronald Hilton - 5/14/03