Originally posted by dmz
shooting them---that's pretty problematic. I think the problem with that (although it throws you back to the "kill 'em all" option) is this underlying theme that America is a Great Evil force that exports porn, homosexuality, feminism, colonialism, etc. I don't think that if we abandoned the mideast that the harrasment would stop. Maybe the physical colonialism would end, but not the cultural.
We've (i.e. the Western world) been in the middle east in some form or other since the 12th century, and every time it's been as a colonizer. WWI is where the modern iteration of our occupation has its roots. Go watch Lawrence of Arabia or something to see what I'm talking about.
The other problem is with Islam itself, undeluted, it does terrible things to economies---it is a mindset stuck at 650A.D. It hasn't had a reformation---and isn't really equiped for one. I think that there will be a showdown on some level in the future between that ideology and the ideology of the West, which is still fairly Christian in it's underpinnings.
What does "undiluted" mean? You're stuck in what is an essentially manichean view of the world (i.e. us vs them, good vs evil, right vs wrong, Xianity vs Islam). We're trying to explain the political situation to you, and all of us are making the point that it is reductive to say that they hate us because they're "evil-doers who hate freedom." This is a political war, not a religious one.
We saw step one of the Bush response (which I applauded) when he pulled our troops out of SA. THAT was what got OBL steamed in the first place, iirc.