15:49 GMT +327 October 2016

    Due West: Why do ‘they’ hate America and the West so much?

    Get short URL
    0 1 0 0

    In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy two questions stood out: “Why do ‘they’ hate America and the West so much?” and “What is to be done with militant Islam?”

    In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy two questions stood out: “Why do ‘they’ hate America and the West so much?” and “What is to be done with militant Islam?” I think there is a more or less clear answer to the first (and was from the very beginning) but there is still no coherent response to the second. It may be coming soon.

    Militant Islamists hate the West  for everything that it is, simultaneously good and bad: democracy and pornography, freedom and selfishness, feeling of superiority and lack of moral compass. I know it is unfashionable to say this, but George W. Bush was the first to realize this – and act accordingly, as a true leader of the whole of the Western world. By the way, I am certain that Al Gore, had he won the elections in 2000, would have done the same.
    The Islamists hate weakness and love to exploit it because they derive their ideology from the inferiority complex Islam possesses, especially in the Middle East. Bush instinctively grasped that and struck out in a matter of weeks, demolishing the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

    His next venture, the 2003 invasion into Iraq, was also a great idea. If not removed from power, Saddam Hussein might have wreaked a lot of havoc in the region (as was his habit before), as UN sanctions weakened and the Russians, Chinese and French craved more corrupt oil deals. Iraq is a moderate success story so far, all circumstances considered. No predictions of its collapse came to be true, and compared to the surrounding countries, it does look like a fairly free country, again, taking into account the local specifics.
    My only problem with the Iraq war is that it might have distracted the United States from doing the job properly in Afghanistan. The jury is still out on this one. It is remains within the powers of the Obama Administration and the next one, whether it’ll be Obama-2, or a Republican one, to correct the situation and reverse the hasty troop withdrawal. Islamists all over the world see this retreat as a sign of defeat and fatal weakness. It is sad that Barack Obama does not understand this and does not care to learn.
    But the second question “What is to be done?”  will heavily depend on the outcome of what goes on now in the Arab world. The “Arab Spring” is to a significant extent a consequence of Bush-era policies, and in this respect very much a consequence of 9/11. Few in the Middle East and elsewhere would dare to admit it. Do you remember Daniel Pipes’ suggestion that “militant Islam is the problem and moderate Islam is the solution?” Well, revolutions in the region give us a chance to find out whether there is such a thing as a moderate Islam. Events of the last year for the first time give the political Islam a chance to be integrated into the political framework of responsibility, accountability and freedom of choice, something the demonstrators on the streets of Cairo, Tunis and Damascus demanded and continue to call for. If Muslims in the Middle East follow this path, then the sacrifices of the last ten years were not in vain. If, as one of Israel’s former intelligence chiefs Daniel Rotschild remarked, “the Arab Spring will turn out to be the Islamists’ triumph,” then … well, then the struggle that came into the focus of our lives on that bright September day ten years ago will have to go on.

    The views expressed in this article are the author’s and may not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

    Due West: The rules of the oil game in Russia

    Due West: Russia’s missed opportunity in Libya

    Due West: Moscow's tortuous foreign policy

    Due West: Hashing it out three years on - Russia-Georgia relations

    Due West: Arab summer

    Due West: Russian Nazis look to Norway

    Due West: Sailing out of corruption

    Due West: Medvedev should visit the graves of those who gave Russia true freedom

    Due West: Otto of Austria - the uncrowned Emperor of Europe

    Due West: Moscow and Minsk start a cold war, while China waits in the wings

    Due West: Ukraine Turns Gaze Back to Brussels

    Due West: Russia divided in wake of a murderer’s death

    Due West: Long live the King!

    Due West: Russia’s Balkans obsession seems to be finally over

    Due West: Laying the table for Obama and Medvedev

    Due West: Russia’s Two-Faced Approach to Foreign Policy

    Due West: VE-Day Truths and Lies

    Due West: George W. Bush has the last laugh

    Due West: Wake up, it’s a new world Mr. Prime Minister

    Due West: Putin vs. Medvedev

    Due West: East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet

    Due West: The Kuchma sensation

    Due West: More Putin-Medvedev cat and mouse?

    Due West: Send in the Sukhois

    Due West: Russia’s Romance with conspiracy theories

    Due West: Good-bye to a colonel and his Socialist People’s Republic

    Due West: Was George W. Bush right on Arab democracy?

    Due West: And What about Syria?

    Due West: Boris Yeltsin - Russia's flawed but genuine revolutionary

    Due West: Pointing fingers instead of pulling levers

    Due West: The times they are a-changing – should secular Arabs fear democracy?

    Due West: EU ready to sell out to Beijing

    Due West: Not to be missed – two anniversaries in 2011

    Due West: Hotspots and weak spots around the world in 2010

    Due West: Lukashenko as Europe’s number one psychologist

    Due West: Vaclav Havel – the man, who still believes in politics

    Due West: Georgia’s wildcard in Russia’s WTO membership

    Due West: The tabloid freedom of WikiLeaks

    Due West: Russia prepared to go as far as NATO is prepared

    Due West: Looking into the Russian-Japanese island spat

    Due West: Russia's NATO Dream


    What is Russia's place in this world? Unashamed and unreconstructed Atlanticist, Konstantin von Eggert believes his country to be part and parcel of the "global West." And while this is a minority view in Russia, the author is prepared to fight from his corner.

    Konstantin Eggert is a commentator and host for radio Kommersant FM, Russia's first 24-hour news station. In the 1990s he was Diplomatic Correspondent for “Izvestia” and later the BBC Russian Service Moscow Bureau Editor. Konstantin has also spent some time working as ExxonMobil Vice-President in Russia. He was made Honorary Member of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.

    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment

    Top stories