"Let me remind the Americans. Those who are now greeting and kissing you in Baghdad are the same people who yesterday were burning Bush pictures and shouting support for Saddam," the bank director said. "Those same people, who were exhausted by wars and sanctions, will have another say when they will discover that the U.S. is an occupying force."
I think it's very important that the U.S. makes it clear that we're not an "occupying force." While I think we have to stick around to help Iraq out (we can't just leave like we did when we were in Afghanistan in the 80s,) we also have to be very conscientious about how we come across.
If the U.S. appears to be anti-Muslim or pro-Israeli, we will really ignite the fires of all the anti-Americans. If handled correctly, we have the opportunity to make ourselves appear in a better light to the people of the Middle East. If they can see we only came to Iraq to help the Iraqi citizens gain freedom, I think that may go along way to defusing the growing faction of anti-American propaganda.
It's a complicated political game that's being played, and if the U.S. play's its hand correctly, it could go a long way to settling things down. It won't abolish the turmoil by any means, but it'll help. Right now there's a very strong sentiment among the Arabic people that the world is pro "Jew" and anti "Muslim." We need to show that Americans are not "anti-Muslim" or (necessarily) "pro-Israeli"—we're "pro-Freedom" and will help any country that wants to be "pro-Freedom" too.
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