The Mideast's Real Problem

Sunday, March 2, 2008

John Podesta, Ray Takeyh and Lawrence J. Korb ["A War We Must End," op-ed, Feb. 26] have confused association with causation in offering explanations for turmoil in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East.

The United States is not the problem in the Middle East; radical dogma and the region's tolerance of it are. As long as our freedoms are a dominant force in business and culture around the world, American values will continue to contradict the advocates of repression.

When America was more "liked" and "respected" in the Middle East -- say, when Mr. Podesta served in the Clinton administration -- I hardly remember Saudi Arabia, Iran or Jordan coalescing to demand that Iraq comply with U.N. resolutions or that the Taliban abandon its tyrannical ways.

The region's back yard harbored terrorist training camps, and little was done in those years to interfere with those who financed, planned and carried out the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and other violence.


Silver Spring

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