It is not directly US policy, but the hopelessness that comes from the life these people live, and that hopelessness has its roots in US policy, particularly in Palestine but also in US client states like Turkey and Egypt where the gap between rich and poor is enormous and corruption and oppression is widespread. Islamists are influential in these places not because of their anti-US stance but because they, and not the governments, are setting up clinics, schools and other community resources. Many Islamists are socialist/communists with religious beliefs that simply make them more attractive to the conservative poor of these countries, people who have been abused by their governments for years, decades even.
It would be great if we could think that the atrocities on Tuesday were some kind of unjustifiable anomaly, but let's be realistic: the people had a reason for what was done, and the partial list mapalm provided is a place to begin trying to put this event in historical context.posted by fellorwaspushed at 10:24 AM on September 14, 2001
To clarify: I do not sympathise with the killers, or try to explain their actions as being at all justifiable, but simply point out that everything happens within an historical context. And history has shown, as mapalm observes, that the US is not some shining beacon of democracy, no matter what Americans might like to think.posted by fellorwaspushed at 1:01 PM on September 14, 2001
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