Re: Harold Meyerson’s “Next Cold War.” Thank you for the article. However, there are deep contradictions in it that destroy its sense. The most outstanding is revealed in this statement: “There are, however, two other underlying problems with a more direct causal connection to the violence of last week, and which aren’t really susceptible to changes in American policy. The first is the political underdevelopment of the Arab world.”
Mr. Meyerson fails to mention that U.S. policy toward Saudi Arabia has been precisely to defend its monarchy at all costs, regardless of its sometimes violent suppression of political opposition and free speech. In return for its defense of the ruling monarchy, the U.S. gets a stable partner that will sell oil to it and to the “global market” at reasonable and predictable costs. Certainly, this blank-check support for an undemocratic regime is something the U.S. can indeed change, something that would have a direct effect on the hatred some Arabs feel toward the U.S., and therefore on the potential for terrorism coming from that region.
I just read the editorial by John Powers titled “Media Fundamentalism.” I applaud his courage and sincerity in trying to get at the truth, which so many of us Americans do not want to hear. There are many citizens of this world who cannot see the U.S. in any other light but as evil. The onus is on us to change that image. I hope this tragedy will cause us to become more aware and involved in what our government is doing overseas with our tax dollars. Only then can we be called a truly democratic nation that represents the will of the people.
I am 38, born in Iran, Shiite Muslim, but atheistic (yes, that exists, more than you think). I live in France since 1979. I read John Powers’ article entitled “Media Fundamentalism” on a Persian Web site, payvand.com, and I loved it. I cried for the Americans who died on September 11 and hope that people responsible for that will be punished. But I think sometimes U.S. journalists have a duty to enhance the level of political debate and self-criticism. In Europe this is how it is. You are the first journalists that I read doing that. God (if he exists) bless you.