Are We Really That Crass?
Reading this discussion at Digan's 75 Year Plan makes me want to answer this question. The reasons the U.S. going to war in Iraq are not merely the atrocities committee by the Bathist Government of Saddam Hussain, nor was it Saddam's attacks on his own people, nor was it merely because he was by many pre-war accounts developing weapons of mass destruction. The good reasons for going to war in Iraq have been stated many times and are quite simple. In fact, so simple that some feel it is not reasons at all.
Middle Eastern Thinking
In the past the Middle East has been home of a class of educated people who are devoted to their religion. Many of these people have opportunities to live comfortable middle class lifestyles or even better. However their nations (or is it people, or is it religion) do not have the international prestige that they desire. An overwhelming question in their minds and hearts is “Why has God not blessed our nation/people/religion?” The answer provided by their religious teachers is that they have sinned by not maintaining the purity of Islam. Some forms of this ideology call for Islamic governments, others call for non-violent struggling for their religion and others call for violence in their struggle. These answers are outside the realm of government and rest with the religious teachers and religious organizations.
From a western point of view the problems in the Middle East is a dictatorial system of government which oppresses people. It is the breeding ground for radical ideology. The oppressive government systems cause the people to search for answers in radical groups, therefore, we need to change the systems of government in the area to democratic forms of government. Freedom, liberty and democracy will allow people to find other means to address their issues other than terrorism. Of course, there is no guarantee once people have the ability to participate in their government and that they actually will. It could be that once democracy is available in all nations in the Middle East, young men will still seek their answers with radical clerics. However, to allow the status quo to continue in the Middle East would mean a continued growth of influence for radical organizations and radical clerics. When President Bush says he wants to see freedom and democracy in the Middle East, it is not merely rhetoric to justify his actions, it is a strategy to break up the root causes of terrorism.