Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What Muslims Owe America

If you listen to the outraged wails of leftists and Muslims, you might reasonably be under the impression that the United States is in the business of persecuting Muslims. The reality is radically different. If anything American policies should have made us the Muslims' best friends.

Before 9/11, the United States had fought two wars on behalf of Muslims, the Gulf War under George Bush Sr. and the Kosovo War under Bill Clinton.

In fact during the second half of the 20th century, the only wars that the United States fought that were not against Communism or Nazism-- were fought on behalf of Muslims.
That is not a fact that you will glean from any of the usual media portrayals of the United States foreign policy as hostile to Muslims. In fact US foreign policy was about as helpful to Muslims as you can imagine.

Until 9/11, the United States had never invaded and occupied a single sovereign Muslim country. The closest it came was the First Barbary War in 1801, in response to piracy against American vessels and the liberation of North Africa from Hitler's Vichy allies in WW2. And of course the misguided attempt at participating in a peacekeeping force in Beirut.

Not only that, America had developed much of the oil wealth that would keep the Gulf States in gold, skyscrapers and slave labor. And when the leaders of the Gulf States seized American oil companies, the United States government did not fight a war, as England did when Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal, instead the US government paid oil companies to take the loss... out of taxpayer money.

The fear of a Communist takeover helped turn America into one of the biggest patrons of Muslim countries, from the Middle East to Turkey, Indonesia and Pakistan. America willingly closed its eyes to Indonesia's genocide in East Timor, and even supplied them with weapons. America provided the weapons and funding that Pakistan would channel into the Taliban. And naturally we ignored Turkey's pesky little genocide of the Armenians and avoided ever discussing the issue.

So by 9/11, not only had America repeatedly sent soldiers to fight and die for Muslims in two wars... but it had robbed its own taxpayers rather than challenge them over the nationalization of the assets of American companies, and had proved willing to aid and even overlook the genocides of Muslim regimes. So naturally by the warped logic of leftists and Muslims... American foreign policy was "oppressive" to Muslims.

The root of the leftist critique of American foreign policy typically rests on two planks. The first blames America for supporting dictators in Muslim countries. This would be a more legitimate critique if there were any free and democratic Muslim countries around. As it was, America simply supported whoever was in power and wasn't allied with the USSR. This might have been an immoral policy, but during the Cold War it was a continuation of the same kind of thinking that caused the US to ally with the USSR against Nazi Germany.

The left's implication was always that by supporting dictators in Muslim countries, the United States was preventing the rise of more legitimate governments. It is not clear where these legitimate governments were or how they were ever supposed to arise. Syria is a dictatorship without us ever supporting Assad. Egypt was a dictatorship when it was allied with the USSR under Nasser. It is still a dictatorship now that it is allied with us under Mubarak. When the Shah of Iran was overthrown, the left wing appeasement corps working for Jimmy Carter decided not to interfere. The result was not a democratic government or even a leftist one, but a radical Islamist one under the Ayatollahs.

The second plank is of course Israel. The United States did decide to finally cultivate Israel as an ally back under JFK in the 60's. This was in sharp contrast to far longer US ties with the House of Saud or the Eisenhower Administration's willingness to destroy England's economy in order to protect Egypt's nationalization of the Suez Canal.

And the United States has provided Israel with billions in aid. As well as providing billions in aid to Egypt and Jordan. Not to mention the aid given to Turkey and Pakistan. Or the cost of the first Gulf War undertaken to liberate Kuwait and protect Saudi Arabia from Saddam Hussein.

H/T: gramfan

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