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Are moderate Arab countries friends of the US (the West)?

Posted by Quotable on April 03, 2003 at 08:24:51

"We also need to revisit the myth of the 'moderate' Arab countries. Most are moderate in only a relative sense, the way an opportunist like Franco was a moderate fascist in comparison to Hitler, or a wily Tito a moderate Communist as opposed to Stalin. We must accept the bitter truth that states like Palestine, Egypt, Syria, and others - despite American deference and occasional aid - are not our friends, much less our allies. Their citizens do not vote freely; their media is controlled and censored; women are not fully liberated, if at all; and they are growing less, not more, tolerant of religious and cultural diversity. While the United States should not gratuitously incite societies like Jordan (a supporter of Iraq in the Gulf War), Egypt, or Saudi Arabia, we must reexamine our relationships with them - from military assistance to foreign aid to travel and immigration. One of the more frustrating facets of the American media has been their reluctance (or inability) to show the grassroots celebration - going on in the streets of Palestine, Pakistan, Egypt, and other countries - of 6,000 American deaths. We should pay close attention to what the upscale parents of the terrorists now profess to European journalists: They may well be representative of Arab 'moderates' in Egypt and Lebanon, and yet, with perfect consistency, either deny their progeny's involvement, spin myths about CIA conspiracies, or suggest that the attacks were warranted."