“In Iraq itself, we have succeeded in destroying a formerly prosperous and secular country, and creating the largest refugee problem in the modern Middle East: 4m Iraqis have now been forced abroad.
“Elsewhere in the Middle East, the US attempt to push democracy in the region has succeeded in turning Muslim opinion against its old client proxies â€“ by and large corrupt, decadent monarchies and decaying nationalist parties. But rather than turning to liberal secular parties, as the neocons assumed they would, Muslims have everywhere lined up behind those parties that have most clearly been seen to stand up against aggressive US intervention in the region, namely the religious parties of political Islam.
“Last week, the Islamic world showed us the sort of gesture that is needed at this time. In a letter addressed to Pope Benedict and other Christian leaders, 138 prominent Muslim scholars from every sect of Islam urged Christian leaders ‘to come together with us on the common essentials of our two religions.’ It will be interesting to see if any western leaders now reciprocate.”
A lesson in humility for the smug West. Many of the western values we think of as superior came from the East and our blind arrogance hurts our standing in the world, by William Dalrymple, October 14, 2007
What an unlucky time for so many people.