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(post your thoughts, or post your own questions! post comments on this format idea on the Discussion page)
1. What is your one-sentence view on how America is perceived in the Middle East?
- Deliberately sponsors dictatorships in the ME to further its own economical/political interest with no regard to the people living there.
- Two-faced: One country in the ME is allowed to regularly flout international law while the rest (and especially those it doesn't like), are threatened and attacked.
- An self-isolated people, oblivious to their money led leaders who tear the world apart to claim every last drop.
- One word is enough - hypocritical.
- Stay the flying hell out of there.... fix our OWN country!
- Stop trying to prevent us from building Nukes, Having slaves, murdering each other and anyone else that we decide insulted us and exporting terrorism to the world.
- The Above is a history of the United States. Supporting American actions by non-American actors is considered un-American. The American policy in the ME is Pragmatic at best, and self-centred and short-sighted at worst.
- For me these wars for 'democracy' are most bitter because they demonstrate that these people have broken their democracies and are able to move armies and international law in their own private commercial interests with absolutely no interest or regard for democratic and socially responsible ethics worldwide or locally.
- Overthrow of Arab governments by the US(eg. Iran 1953) and support for "strong regimes" in the words of George Kennan in the US State Detpt. for the sake of control of oil and geo-political stratagy logically provokes animosity, hostility and even terrorism(eg. Sept. 11 2001) from Arabs.
2. What articles have you read lately that thoughtfully explore this issue?
- Here is an interesting article about what the United States really hoped to accomplish in Iraq and the Middle East in general. Are these acceptable justifications for our involvement in the Middle East?
- This is an interesting article that highlights some of the hidden reasons behind the USA involvement in the Middle East what they hope to achieve.
- Noam Chomsky on this as with so many issues has clear vision and is explicit and clearly spoken.
3. What books would you recommend to people interested in this topic?
- The Mighty and the Almighty, by Madeleine Albright
- Terror in the Mind of God, by Mark Juergensmeyer
- The Great War for Civilisation : The Conquest of the Middle East, by Robert Fisk
- From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict over Palestine, by Joan Peters
- Myths and Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israel Conflict, Second Edition, by Mitchell Geoffrey Bard
- The Routledge Atlas of Arab-Israeli Conflict: The Complete History of the Struggle and the Efforts to Resolve It, by Martin Gilbert
- Does America Need a Foreign Policy?, by Henry Kissinger
- Pirates and Emperors, by Noam Chomsky
- Clash of Civilizations, by Samule P. Huntington
- Prospects for Peace in the Middle East, Noam Chomsky 
4. Which leaders' views and perspectives on America's relationship with the Middle East are you most inspired by?
- I personally think that the Israeli ex-nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu made an interesting point when referring to the nuclear conflict with Iran:
- "Under the control of the IAEA, Iran does not pose any threat. Western experts perfectly know the nature of the Iranian nuclear program, contrary to Israel, which does not let anyone enter its nuclear facilities. That is why Iran decided to take a step forward and to tell the world: 'You can not demand more transparency from us while closing your eyes to what is happening in Israel!' The Arabs have known for 40 years that Israel has atomic bombs and nobody does anything about it. As long as the world continues to ignore Israel's atomic weapons, they will not have the moral authority to say anything about Iran. If the world is really concerned, if they want to put an end to nuclear proliferation, then they have to start from the beginning, that is, Israel!" ()
I am a patriotic American and I believe nothing will ever be resolved in the middle East until all of the interested parties seriously consider the Arab world's claim that Israel has no right to exist. I was born in 1949, so for me, Israel has always existed. And raised in the U.S., my sympathies have always been with Israel and, obviously, against terrorists. It is only recently that I have begun to explore the history of the conflict. For a very good overview of the history, visit NPR's Morning Edition series, The Mideast, A Century of Conflict, parts I, II, & III. The truth is, Israel was and is built on stolen land and the rightful owners forcefully driven out. As long as we continue to blindly support Israel no matter what they do, and conversely turn deaf ears to the injustices, past and present, perpetrated upon the Palestinians, the conflict will continue to escalate and spill over to involve the United States, Israel's unconditional ally. And the Palestinians, repeatedly rebuffed in their efforts to have their grievances addressed, and unable to succeed in conventional warfare against an army supported and armed with state of the art American weapons, will continue to lash out with terrorism. So let me say it out loud. The emperor has no clothes. Israel has no right to exist.
I am an American and I believe America and her ideals will never be tolerated in the Middle East so long as hateful Imans rule the airwaves and classrooms of the Middle East. I also believe that America's cause is benevolent, while the cause of groups like Hamas, al-Qaeda, and Iran's government are destructive and dangerous to the future of humanity and civil freedom.