Skip to comments.Anger towards Americans high
Posted on 08/07/2006 5:33:18 PM PDT by Graybeard58
CAIRO, Egypt -- Anger toward America is high, extremists are on the upswing and hopes for democracy in the Middle East lie dashed. The Lebanon war is creating dangerous ripples in the war on terror, the future of Iraq -- even the effort to keep nuclear weapons from dangerous hands.
"America, we hate you more than ever," Ammar Ali Hassan wrote in the independent Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm, in the kind of visceral, slap-in-the-face rhetoric boiling across the region.
So far, the violence has not led allies to take steps that directly hurt America's strategic interests, such as forcing the military from its regional headquarters in Qatar or its naval base in Bahrain. And there are those who see the conflict as the bloody but necessary prelude to a real assessment by the Arab world of its choices: democracy and peace, or Islamic extremism and warfare.
Yet so far, almost every U.S. and European goal for the region -- keeping oil prices stable, promoting democracy, fighting extremists, strengthening moderates -- is suffering.
Jordan's pro-American King Abdullah gave the sharpest warning last week: Even if Hezbollah loses the military battle, its rising popularity among Arabs mean a like-minded group could pop up anywhere in the Middle East, even in his own country.
Others worry terror groups may already be directly benefiting. Al-Qaida's No. 2 leader has called on supporters to wage holy war against Israel in a clear effort to turn the hostility to its advantage.
More broadly, a wide swath of even progressive, middle-class people across the Mideast are outraged at the Israeli bombing of Lebanon and in part blame the United States. That means the long-sought U.S. effort to win Arab and Muslim "hearts and minds" -- so crucial to fighting terrorism -- has suffered a huge blow.
The signs are everywhere grim:
-- Moderates such as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have become almost irrelevant. All hope of an Israeli-Palestinian "land for peace" deal lie in tatters for the foreseeable future.
-- Iran has received a prestige boost as a key Hezbollah backer, and it has gained some relief from its own problems: U.N. efforts to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions still limp along, but have taken a back seat.
-- The effort to calm Iraq has been "complicated," because the Lebanon war has boosted the prestige of Shiite extremists who are pushing Iraq toward civil war, said a senior U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the issue's sensitivity.
The fighting even led to tension between Washington and Iraq's Shiite moderates, when the country's prime minister was harshly criticized by Democrats for condemning only Israel, not Hezbollah.
-- The push for democracy in other Arab regimes, already stalled, has ground to a halt. The U.S. is unlikely to pressure allies such as Saudi Arabia or Egypt for reform when it needs their help to end the crisis. Even many Arab reformers now believe the U.S. cares more about supporting Israel than anything elsey.
Not everyone thinks U.S. goals are in a muddle.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice believes the fighting, though painful, is the "birth pang of a new Middle East."
-- meaning the bloodshed and disarming of Hezbollah are required before the region can move toward peace.
There is indeed a widely held view that the Arab world needs a shakeout before it can make progress toward democracy or peace -- to decide if it wants to follow Hezbollah and Iran or moderates such as the Palestinians' Abbas.
President Bush hinted at that when he called the Israel-Hezbollah fight part of a "a larger struggle between the forces of freedom and the forces of terror."
Still others believe some of the Arab support for Hezbollah and its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, could wane once the bombing ends and those in Lebanon take a hard look at the damage.
William Brown, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel, contends America and Europe could seize an opportunity if Israel managed to disable Hezbollah temporarily. Brown said the U.S. should try to push a comprehensive peace plan that involves Israel, the Palestinians, Syria and Iran once the fight is over.
But he is skeptical the United States has the ability or will.
"I wouldn't like to see Nasrallah emerge as a hero in all this," Brown said. "But it's a distinct possibility."
They are going to be alot angrier before we get done civilizing them...
"The Sky is Falling!"
>>CAIRO, Egypt -- Anger toward America is high, extremists are on the upswing and hopes for democracy in the Middle East lie dashed. The Lebanon war is creating dangerous ripples in the war on terror, the future of Iraq -- even the effort to keep nuclear weapons from dangerous hands.<<
This is from a Republican paper.
The Nazis and Japanese weren't all that enthusiastic about us either.
and we give a rats a$$ how?
Like I care......we must be doing something right if we are pissing them off
Yep, and I'm sure the media, theirs and ours had nothing to do with this.
Here's the sole of my shoe for "world opinion". Go pound sand.
This BS was in the NEWS section, not the opinion section? WTF, I guess we should not be suprised.
"This is from a Republican paper?"
I see that now, thank you.
"Anger towards Americans high"
I wonder what will happen if all Americans will start hating anything muslim...
Yesterday, he hated us enough to kill us. Now he hates us even more.
The Soviets hated us too. Color me unimpressed.
[waves arms to signal "pump up the volume"]