Not Wrong, Just Misunderstood

When it comes to acknowledging the widespread anti-American anger in the Arab World, the Bush administration refuses "to engage in self-criticism," according to James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute. "The fault, they insist, must be elsewhere. And so they maintain that Arabs are only angry at us because they are being taught to hate us and their regimes use that hatred to deflect from their own inadequacies. ... While reform in the Arab World is, in fact, needed and its need should not be understated, the way current US thinking presents that need is not as a desirable end in itself - but as an alternative to any change in US policy - as in, 'we do not have to change or press Israel to change, it is the Arabs who have to change,' and when they do, they won't be angry at us anymore. ... In fact, while 'public diplomacy' is presented as a way of convincing the Arabs of America's values - its real target is self-justification. 'We are not doing anything wrong - Arabs just don't understand us,'" Zogby writes.