BA....your assessment of the US as the prime cause of terrorism is pure BS.
Tell that to the rest of the world which would think otherwise.
US foreign policy in the Middle East over the years has created frustration and anger.
The US and the Arab world had very very very warm relations up until Truman decided to embrace Israel.
Did you know the Arabs of Palestine had favored an American mandate over a British Mandate following the fall of the Ottoman Empire?
Getting back to the issue of US influence in the Middle East, a prime example is the US' support of a ruthless dictator, Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi, ska the Shah of Iran. A stooge of the US who provided the US with cheap oil and easy access to it. Under the Shah, the rich kept getting richer, and the Iranian people who were impoverished kept getting poorer.
So in 1979, the Iranian people get fed up and overthrow the Shah, and what replaced him? Ayatollah Khomeini, famous for calling America the "Great Satan." This was known as the Islamic Revolution. While the Iranian people are now financially better off than they were under the Shah, Islamic fanaticism has sweeped Iran.
The US supported the Saudi royal family from the beginning. The royal family has always been corrupt from a long time. The events going on in Saudi Arabia are to overthrow the Saudi Royal family. That's all fine and dandy, except it's become an Islamic extremist movement. The goal is to replace the royal family with a Taliban like regime. The same is going on in Iraq right now with the insurgents.
The US supported Saddam in the early 1980s to fight Iran and provided him with financial assistance and arms. Donald Rumsfeld personally met with Saddam and stated "this is a man we can count on." After the US was done using him, they turned their back on him just as they turned their backs on the Afghani people after they helped the "mujahedeen" (Bin Laden being one of them) to fight off the Soviets. We all know what happens next.
In the Lebanese Civil War, the US under the Reagan Administration came in to act as peace keepers and restore peace in the country. This was a good intentioned act, but instead of acting as a neutral force and work for peace between the varying sides, the US took sides by siding with the Phalangists. This inturn ended up increasing tensions and violence in Lebanon instead of try to calm things down. In 1983, a truck bomb exploded by the marine barracks in Beirut and 283 marines were killed. This led the US to pull out of Lebanon.
The US lost a lot of lives in what was supposed to be a peace keeping mission, and ended up increasing the fighting and problems in Lebanon because of their failure to act as a true neutral peace-keeping force.
When there was a chance of secularism and democratic reforms in the Middle East, the US and the rest of the west firmly opposed those. I refer to the Arab nationalism goals led by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser.
When Nasser refused to join the Baghdad Pact because he wanted his country to remain neutral from Cold War conflict, the US became furiated.
Besides refusing to join the Baghdad Pact, Nasser's Arab nationalism goals appealed to many in the Arab world but did not appeal to the US because they wanted to have a firm foodhold in the Arab world.
There is a new book out called Nasser: The Last Arab
and I will share the summary of the book below:
Since the death of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1970, there has been no ideology to capture the imagination of the Arab world except Islamic fundamentalism. What we see today in the Middle East is the direct result of Western opposition to Nasser's Arab nationalist ideals and his belief in the supremacy of the secular state.
Nasser is a towering figure in Arab politics. When he refused to follow a strictly American line, the CIA tried to undermine him. He responded by throwing in his lot with the Soviet Union, even though he was fervently anti-Communist. Nasser wanted to achieve military par with Israel, to create a balance of power that would lead to peace and not the '56 or '67 wars.
A dictator with a human bent, Nasser was extremely popular, and his pan-Arab ideology appealed to many and produced a brief chance for Arab unity and a cluster of relatively democratic, incorruptible governments.
Nowadays the Arab world is Islamic, anti-Western, and teetering on the edge of disaster. Although Nasser's ambitions came to an end because the West opposed him, what replaced him is infinitely more dangerous.
The US has been involved in Arab conflicts and politics far too much and in far too many negative ways which over the years has built up to the hatred America experiences today.
The countries that refuse to vocally support Israel for fear of targeted by terrorists are encourageing terrorism by giving them what they want.
No, but treating Israel no different from any other country in the Middle East and not pouring billions of aid into the country in forms of weapons, these countries do not have to fear from hostilities from the Arab world.
Civilized nations do not constantly attack their neighbors nor do they lauch rocket attacks on farms. Nor do they send terrorists to attack, directly or by supporting them, their neighbors.
Tell that to the Israelis who constantly attack Palestinians and constantly occupy and oppress them.
Think about why the Palestinians do what they do.
Algeria resorted to the same measures long ago to kick the French colonialists out.
Take a look at the Palestinian deathtoll versus Israeli deathtoll over the past 3 years.
There is vast corruption in the arab world's leadership, and it should be corrected...
As I stated, the US is largly responsible for the corrupt leadership in the Arab world.
how do you suppose this should happen without allowing things to fall into fundamentalist Islamic rule, which would present a constant threat to Israel?
Nasser fought hard for secularism in the Arab world and could have achieved it if the west supported him.
The constant threats against Israel are not Islamic and they will only die down when Israel allows the right of return of Palestinian refugees and ends its occupation of Arab lands.
What is your opinion on the best way to introduce effective and honest democratic leadership?
I'm all for democracy, but it needs to come from within. It cannot be forced upon by an outside force or else it will be met with resistence.
Government in Arab culture is very tribal. People are used to looking up to a leader for as long as they are alive. There have been democratic reforms occuring in Arab countries over the past 20 years, even if they are occuring at a slow pace. There IS
You cannot implement democracy without educating the people first. This will take time, but it can be done, and is being done from within. There are always people who are asking for more democratic reforms and ever so slowly, they make progess.
Just like China opened up over the years and has adoped a market economy from being a strict command economy, the Arab world will slowly transition into democracy as more people stand up and want it.
Of course BA ignores that Osama Bin Laden didn't attack the US because of Israel........
While his primary reason for attacking the US was because of the US forces in the holyland and the US' support of the corrupt Saudi royal family which he despises, he also has mentioned the Palestinian struggle as one of the reasons since the beginning.
Not only that, they are attacked ANYWAY (Spain and France come to mind). This just goes to prove that Muslim extremists will attack regardless of support (or lack of) of Israel.
Spain was attacked because of the previous government's support in the war on Iraq.
France has yet to see a major terrorist attack from Islamic fundamentalists, but if it were to happen, it would be because of their decision to ban hijab (headscarf) from public schools.
Politically, France is very popular among the Arab world because of their fair, neutral stance and their opposition to the war in Iraq.
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran