Lieber ‘5 (Robert, PhD from Harvard, Professor of Government and International Affairs at Georgetown, former consultant to the State Department and for National Intelligence Estimates, “The American Era”, pages 121-123)
Elsewhere, although American policies and practices can be a source of resentment, and primacy can readily translate into bruised feelings about the exercise of American power, the predominant sources of anti-Americanism are deep-seated and structural and are only secondarily due to specific policies. This was especially evident in the aftermath of September 11, and a statement by sixty leading American scholars made a telling point when it observed the way in which bin Laden and the attackers directed their hatred against the United States itself rather than make any specific policy demands: . . . the killing was done for its own sake. The leader of Al Qaeda described the “blessed strikes” of September 11 as blows against America, “the head of world infidelity.” Clearly, then, our attackers despise not just our government, but our overall society, our entire way of living. Fundamentally, their grievance concerns not only what our leaders do, but also who we are.68 The Anglo-Indian author, Salman Rushdie, himself a target of a fatwa calling for his death as punishment for supposed blasphemy, captures this phenomenon when he writes that even if aMiddle East peace settlement between Israelis and Palestinians were achieved, anti-Americanism would be likely to continue unabated.69 This animosity toward America is driven by several mechanisms: the desire of authoritarian regimes to deflect criticism away from their own corrupt rule, the agendas of virulently anti-modernist movements that paradoxically can now utilize television and the Internet to disseminate their views, and widespread frustration and alienation. Yet Islamic radicalism is by no means dominant, and it remains contested within these societies, not least (as Afghanistan under Taliban rule demonstrated) because its anti-rational, theocratic, and misogynist values do not provide a viable option for successfully confronting the tasks of modernization. Moreover, hostility to the United States is not universal, and America’s successful exercise of power may sometimes actually discourage opposition.70 In parts of the Muslim world, modernist views have surfaced to contest the radical Islamist vision. In at least some cases, journalists, intellectuals, and government leaders condemned the 9/11 attacks, spoke out against extremism and the search for scapegoats, and challenged the notion that returning to practices of the distant past can solve practical problems of society and economy. Thus, as a former Libyan Prime Minister has observed, “Perhaps most of the things we complain of . . . stem from our own flaws.”71 Similarly, following the July 2004 release of the 9/11 Commission Report, the former dean of the Faculty of Islamic Law at the University of Qatar wrote an article calling on Arabs to recant their conspiracy theories about the September 11 attacks and to apologize for spreading theses ideas: Why won’t we take the opportunity of the appearance of the 9-11 Commission’s report to ponder why destructive violence and a culture of destruction have taken root in our society? Why won’t we take this opportunity to reconsider our educational system, our curricula, including the religious, media, and cultural discourse that causes our youth to live in a constant tension with the world?72 Ultimately, the root causes of fanaticism and cultural backlash lie not within the United States and the West but inside the foreign societies themselves. Culture is both a mode of self and group expression and a source of upheaval and contestation. There is less a “clash of civilizations” than a clash within civilizations. Outsiders can take steps to encourage moderate elements within these societies, but much more depends on developments inside the countries concerned. The outcome of this competition may ultimately shape whether globalization itself continues or instead is violently overturned, much as the guns of August 1914 touched off a world war and reversed a century’s trend of increasing openness, integration, and interdependence.