Arabs: time for more than finger pointing [Archives:2003/632/Letters to the Editor]

April 21 2003

G. Lee
[email protected]

I have not visited your site for some time now. I had read your paper regularly after the events of 9/11, and have not returned until now to see the reaction to the war in Iraq. Congratulations on a very cohesive site design.
Now, let me comments on the content. I suppose I can understand some of the overwhelming anti-Americanism that you display against the government of the US. What I cannot understand is how so many of the countries of the Middle East do little to nothing to manage the problems of the region beyond pointing fingers at one another. You will live in the midst of dictatorships while your rulers bask in the wealth generated by your natural resources. If that is not enough, then you fight over religious differences.
My only thoughts are that you are afraid of freedom. That you all have gotten used to a particular way of life, and because you do not trust one another, you certainly cannot trust anyone from the outside.
Americans only want peace and freedom for all peoples of the world, to live life with the right of the pursuit of happiness. We have a wonderful life here in the US and want the world to understand the wonders of freedom. While not a perfect world, it is better than one where you have no free will. I know we would all rather perish than live any other way.
So, I challenge you to learn more about the US rather then making harsh judgments. How many other countries would have practiced such restraint in the aftermath of 9/11? I read of the many reports of the leaders and people of the Middle East acting in disbelief when seeing the jubilation of the Iraqi people as Saddam's regime was toppled. The comments in your issue today still echo these sentiments, going so far as to suggest that the entire war is a Hollywood movie. I challenge that statement with a similar comment that the Middle East must all be a Hollywood movie as well. It is almost incomprehensible how the people in your part of the world are unable to trust one another or any one from outside your region. Yet, with all the issues that belabor your countries, you only blame them on someone else. Rather than considering the millions of Iraqis who suffered, you condemn the US for 1,500 civilian war casualties.
I am sure that we will be instrumental in helping the Iraqi people re-establish their country. My question is: What will Yemen do? What will Egypt/Saudi Arabia/Jordan/Israel/Qatar/Syria/Iran do?