The Islamist Threat Isn't Going Away

(Wall Street Journal) Michael J. Totten - Both presidential candidates seem to think, 11 years after 9/11, that calibrating just the right policy will reduce Islamist extremism and anti-Americanism in the Middle East. They're wrong. Anti-Americanism and the appeal of radical Islam will not vanish any time soon. I've spent a lot of time in Tunisia and Egypt, both before and after the revolutions, and have yet to meet a single person whose opinion of Americans has changed an iota. Egyptians voted for Islamist parties by a two-to-one margin. These people are not even remotely interested in the rule of law, better education or gender equality. They want Islamic law, Islamic education and gender apartheid. Anti-Americanism has been a default political position in the Arab world for decades. Radical Islam is the principal vehicle through which it's expressed at the moment, but anti-Americanism specifically, and anti-Western "imperialism" generally, lie at the core of secular Arab nationalism of every variety. Everything the U.S. does is viewed with suspicion across the political spectrum. The Middle East is immature and unhinged politically. Nobody can change that right now. Arab countries will mostly have to work this out on their own. It will take a long time.

2012-10-26 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive