Root Causes of the Arab Hate for the United States

Blogger Steven Den Beste, whose articles are some of my all time favorite online reading, recently posted some thoughts about a speech he has archived on his site by one Professor Harari of Israel. The talk, titled A View from the Eye of the Storm, gives some very deep insights into the problems occuring in areas predominantly populated by Muslims. Some critics in the United States are answering the question Why do they hate us? with a laundry list of items:

  • America’s support of Israel
  • Third-world poverty
  • The USA’s role of sole superpower in the world
  • Economic sanctions placed on Iraq after the first Gulf War
  • America’s moral influence on the rest of the world, including Muslim countries
  • US occuption of “Muslim nations”
  • We “steal” Arab oil for our own use

The list could go on and on. None of these reasons, however, actually go to the heart of the matter and identify the root causes. The basic premise of Haim Harari’s speech, as well as several of Mr. Den Beste’s articles, is that the United States and Israel are merely convenient scapegoats and that the hate/anger of the Islamic world are, at rooted in the failure of Arab nations. The entire Muslim region (extending from Pakistan to Morocco), is dysfunctional, and would be even if the nation of Israel didn’t exist. Harari provides some surprising deals of this dramatic failure:

  • The 22 countries of the Arab League, with all their oil and natural resources, have a combined GDP smaller than that of Netherlands plus Belgium and equal to half of the GDP of California alone
  • Within this meager GDP, the gaps between rich and poor are beyond belief and too many of the rich made their money not by succeeding in business, but by being corrupt rulers
  • The social status of women is far below what it was in the Western World 150 years ago
  • Human rights are below any reasonable standard, in spite of the grotesque fact that Libya was elected Chair of the UN Human Rights commission
  • According to a report prepared by a committee of Arab intellectuals and published under the auspices of the U.N., the number of books translated by the entire Arab world is much smaller than what little Greece alone translates
  • The total number of scientific publications of 300 million Arabs is less than that of 6 million Israelis
  • Birth rates in the region are very high, increasing the poverty, the social gaps and the cultural decline
  • And all of this is happening in a region, which only 30 years ago, was believed to be the next wealthy part of the world, and in a Moslem area, which developed, at some point in history, one of the most advanced cultures in the world

He then goes on to detail what he believes are the four pillars of the current world conflict, which he refers to as “the undeclared World War III” (I would actually consider this World War IV – I would call the Cold War World War III). These four pillars are:

  • Suicide Murder
  • Lies
  • Money
  • The total breaking of all laws

I spent a lot of time in my strategic management classes learning how to distinguish between symptoms and roots causes of problems, so I really appreciate when people like Professor Harari and Steven Den Beste can not only identify the core issues, but articulate them in an easy to understand way. Go read the whole thing!