Regarding Gilles d'Aymery's The American Caliphate: US Establishment Bipartisan Strategy
To the Editor:
Another excellent article. It's funny to listen to the quivering apologetic "liberals" out there who seem to think, well, yeah, the Middle East 'does need help...'; and one wonders at the lack of both historical perspective (as in Colonialism 101) and the general arrogance of such attitudes. The arrogance speaks to a hubris of the west, especially America, where a narcotized and over medicated public can't drudge up sufficient imagination to wonder that not EVERYONE wants GAP francises, Starbuck's and Exxon in their country...that not everyone wants Hollywood films and the addictions of false needs and marketing and cell phones. Of course the engine behind foreign policy has always been business...and the business environment. This doesn't change. Back as far as the turn of the century, the U.S. was forcing itself on other peoples in order to provide security for corporate interests. What seems a bit new is the near hysterical level of mission, which is both smokescreen and a real element in the anxiety of Capitalism.
Living in eastern Europe as I do, I find the self-satisfied quality of the rhetoric more startingly than I might if I still lived in Los Angeles. The swaggering condescension of these people is amazing; the faux-paternalism of Wolfowitz and Bremer, and the lack of sensitivity in the entire project is truly breathtaking. It also suggests a total failure of understanding about the effects of humiliation, which means none of these folks has ever been poor and has ever worried about having a place to live or a way to buy food.
Its all very frightening at this point.
But good work as always.
Krakow, Poland - August 28, 2003
Regarding Milo Clark's From Hawaii to Iraq and Islam
To the Editor:
Thank you for Milo Clarks's thoughts on Wahabism and Sufism. I was trained by Wahabs in the United States. As with all humans, some were intolerant to the extreme while others, my teachers included, were quite compassionate and tolerant. The primary teaching they impressed on me was a literal interpretation of the Quran. The importance of seeking knowledge and service to humanity. Not bad values from my point of view... I have also admired, participated and associated in Sufi practices and count some People of the Way among my friends. As one told me, a true Sufi is capable of moving at the speed of light and is a rarity among us. So I guess my experience is between the two extremes put forth in the article. Let's all work to enjoin evil and practice the way of truth and beauty.
walaikum asalaam warahamtuallah,
Abdul Latif bin Aeppli
Mojave, California, USA - August 29, 2003
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