The West is almost as in love with improving the world, as the Muslim world is with conquering it. These two contradictory impulses, the missionary and the warrior, intersect in the Clash of Civilizations. The Muslim world has two approaches to the West, underhanded deceit and outright terror. The former are considered moderates and the latter extremists. The West has two approaches to the Muslim world, regime change and love bombing. With regime change we bomb their cities to save them from their rulers and with love bombing we shamelessly flatter and appease them in our own cities.
Westerners worry a great deal over who runs the Muslim world. Muslims do not care very much who runs Western countries. They prefer weak liberal leaders to strong ones, but they do not overall think there is a difference between them. Even the emplacement of a Hussein in the White House has not improved America’s ratings in the Muslim world.
That is because Muslims are religiously and culturally antagonistic to the West. Whether John McCain or Barack Hussein Obama are in the White House– America is still a non-Muslim country. It is and will the subjective of xenophobia no matter how much it flatters the Muslim world.
Westerners focus their animus on Muslim leaders, on a Saddam, a Gaddafi or an Arafat– not recognizing that the hostility toward us comes not from the leaders, but from the people. We can remove all the leaders of the Muslim world and replace them with muppets, and it won’t noticeably change the underlying sentiments on the Arab street. And very soon the muppets will also start chanting, “Death to America” because it’s the popular thing to do.
Take the Neo-conservative’s favorite Egyptian democracy activist Sandmonkey (twitter name) who has rediscovered that the best way to campaign is by accusing the other guy of being a Yankee-Zionist stooge. That’s politics as usual in a country where everyone accuses everyone else of being a pawn of the Great and Little Satans. By linking the Muslim Brotherhood to Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabia to Israel, he can accuse the Brotherhood of being stooges of Israel. Senseless but it’s the default position. It’s easier to campaign on who hates America and Israel more, than who has a workable reform program.