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The Unmaking of the Middle East, A History of Western Disorder in Arab Lands

The term “global war on terror” is no longer fashionable. Lip service is now paid to the idea that diplomacy and development are essential components of the effort to counter Islamic extremism, and the realization is growing that making armed force the “default option” for dealing with terrorism perpetrated in the name of Islam is probably strengthening the hand of the terrorists.

 

The term “global war on terror” is no longer fashionable. Lip service is now paid to the idea that diplomacy and development are essential components of the effort to counter Islamic extremism, and the realization is growing that making armed force the “default option” for dealing with terrorism perpetrated in the name of Islam is probably strengthening the hand of the terrorists. Meanwhile, on the other side of Samuel Huntington’s “civilizational divide” there is an appreciation that, however brutal and mindless the U.S.-led war on terror and attendant nation-building efforts have been, and however incompetent, corrupt and repressive governments in much of the Muslim world have become, the replacement of such regimes by the leaders of those who now slaughter Westerners and Muslims in the name of Islam would make matters worse than they are at present. A serious effort on both sides to act on these realizations and to find common ground across the divide would seem to be in order.

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