There is a terrible disease spreading in the middle east. There is a certain movement within Arab and Muslim countries that centers around a deep hatred of the West, particularly the United States. People in the middle east are very proud of their culture. They believe that they are God's people, that their religion is the True Way. Their holy texts tell them that their religion will one day rule the world.

And they, as a people, as a culture, and as a religion, are failing.

The people of the middle east generally want what everyone else wants: a job, a happy, healthy, well-fed family, and a home. They also enjoy having sex, listening and performing music, and living their lives in a generally unregulated way. They want to be successful. An alarming number of people in the middle east have few or none of these things, and they blame it on the West. Why? Because they are told to. Who tells them to? Their governments, who are uniformly autocratic, tyrannical, corrupt, and brutal. The media in the middle east is generally under the control of these governments, and the people under them have no choice but to believe what they are told. Information is tightly controlled, and the majority are left with only one side of the story.

Therefore they firmly believe that the culture of the West is illigitimate. It is a mongrel, patched together from the worst pieces of many cultures, and it is decadent and sinful. And the worst part, for them, is that it is winning. People are lured away from the "True Path" by this culture, which most people have a tendency to enjoy, because it stresses individuality, personal freedom, and the idea that everyone is entitled to enjoy the fruits of their labor. This luring away of people is considered an attack and an affront to their culture.

But most importantly, we are rich, happy, fat, successful, and our way of life is expanding all over the globe. They are starving, thirsty, poor, unemployed, oppressed, and their culture is shriveling. Very few important technological or cultural advancements have come from their part of the world for centuries, where as once it was THE pinnacle of art and learning.

The way to make lasting peace with the Middle East is difficult and bloody. Their governments must be removed and replaced with secular, democratic entities. Capitalism must be encouraged. Women must be allowed to enter the work force and contribute to their nation's well-being. This is already beginning to happen, for instance in Iran where students are protesting the brutal government (which was itself put in place by protesting students), and the United States and other select countries are going to give the process a big push.

We're going to remove Iraq's leadership, and, much like we did with Japan and Germany after WWII, we are going to install a military government whose sole purpose will be to erect a new, secular, non-aggressive government that has the people's interests in mind, not its own. When this happens, it won't be hard to substantially increase the standard of living in Iraq. The people will no longer be afraid to speak their minds; they will no longer fear the secret police or government informers. They will no longer fear bombs from US and British aircraft. They will finally, at long last, be at peace, and they will quickly get back to the business of making their lives better.

With our help, they will show the world that a nation that is mostly Muslim and have a successful, secular government, and that the people there can have a good standard of living. The people in the surrounding nations will see this, and unrest will grow. In response to this, the other governments will become increasingly brutal to repress their people's clamoring for a better life. This escalation will continue until revolution occurs or the international community steps in and stops the killing and the oppression.

Eventually, democracy will rule the Middle East. The corrupt, autocratic leaders will be gone, and the people there will be able to live free, informed lives. They will all be able to go to school, have jobs, and own cars, even if they are women. Instead of being impoverished, angry, and humiliated, they will be successful, rich, and happy, and they will once again become important contributors to the world's art, learning, and technology.

This is the only way that there can truly be peace in the Middle East. The people must be satisfied with their lives, and only democracy can do that for them.

We really need a better way to discuss nodes like this. I got a pile of messages after writing this node, most of them saying things along the lines of "You have bought all your government's lies" or "Your country deserves it after all you've done to them." Well, first of all, my government doesn't really say a whole lot about the issue aside from its accusations of weapons of mass destruction and such. It can't say things like this about Arab culture in general, because that's extremely undiplomatic, and we need the help of some of these disgusting regimes before we can facilitate their destruction. Generally, my government has taken the policy of speaking softly while carrying a big stick, whereas those of others, such as France, Germany, Russia, and of course most of the middle eastern nations, will not shut up about what we're doing wrong, what we shouldn't do, and how terrible we are for wanting to use force against nations that laugh in the faces of those who want to give peace a chance. And another chance, and another, and another. And they do nothing. Why? Because those nations in particular have large outstanding debts with Iraq, and if the US moves in and replaces its government with one that doesn't dissappear husbands, leaving their wives unable to remarry and having to somehow fend for their entire family, they won't get paid. Every country involved in this situation is looking out for its own interests; it's just that some are hippocritical enough to play the "multilateralism" card. Our actions will be multilateral. They just won't include those countries that are prone to inaction.

Secondly, people like to throw around the term "root causes." They say that since the united states has historically supported those totalitarian regimes, and because its economic policy (which includes importing vast amounts of middle eastern oil; a terrible thing, I know) the citizens there blame us rightly for their current misfortunes, and are therefore sick and tired of us and support any and every movement against us. However, this doesn't explain why their aggression is aimed mainly at the US, or why this kind of homicidal attitude is prevalent only among Arabs. Other countries, including France, Britain, and Russia, have all had a hand in contributing to the horrible political climate in the middle east, some much moreso than the United States. Also, the United States, in some of its more misguided and regrettable policies (which every country has, by the way; ours seem bigger only because we're more successful and affect people more with our mistakes) has done harm to many regions, most especially Central America, but do they indiscriminately bomb our civilians? No.

Why, then? Why just the Arabs and Muslims, and why just the United States? Because we are the strongest contrast to their failure as a society. Because our culture is considered inferior, even a non-culture (a view co-opted from the Europeans, if you can believe that) and yet it is growing, expanding, and taking over. I've seen a lot of other reasons to replace this one, but none of them really fits. They're all refuteable or weak in some way, but this one seems to link all the other pieces together.

On a side note, I find it somewhat depressing that after everything we've done for Europe and Europeans, most of them feel zero loyalty towards us. While our nation is under attack, all most of them have done (the government of the UK excluded) is to tell us how terrible we are and how ashamed we should be. Bullshit. The United States is ultimately responsible for keeping the free world from decending into Naziism AND Communism, and it's responsible for most of the development seen in Europe after WWII. And all this has been fogotten. At least, Europe's debt to the United States has. In our time of need, what use are they? In fact, many, especially France and Germany, have been detrimental to our cause. Allies indeed.

Soon we will use our massive military strength to give the impoverished and oppressed multitudes of the middle east a chance to govern themselves. We will open the middle east to western business and give them jobs, with which they will earn money and build better lives for themselves and their children. We WILL go in and start building shit. We'll pump huge amounts of American money into their economy to buy their oil, and instead of that money going to an elite and corrupt few who spend it all on military hardware and weapons research, it will go back into the economy and pay for schools, roads, libraries, bridges, public health, irrigation projects, housing projects, public transportation, and a myriad of other things that have languished under the current regimes. And the people will be happy. And there will be peace.

Gritchka responds with some absurd anti-Americanism: "The United States is the model of a failed culture. All the rest of the world is horrified at the thought of being taken over by the hell-hole we watch with horror over there."
I realize that if you hold this kind of view, there's absoultely nothing I or anyone else can say to make you change it. So, repeat that statement over and over, clap your hands, and believe in faeries, and maybe, someday, it'll actually come true!