In an interview with Al-Arabiya, President Obama commented that “the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there’s no reason why we can’t restore that.”  30 years ago, in 1979, the relationship between America and the Muslim world was dominated by the Iranian Hostage Crisis.  20 years ago, in 1989, it was the first Gulf War.  In other words, the “respect and partnership” that America had with the Muslim world 20 or 30 years ago was characterized by a virulent Islamic totalitarian movement waging a terror war against the United States, and a large-scale American invasion of Iraq.  Sounds familiar.  What exactly needs restoring, again?

Those ignorant of history…

Update: Sorry, brain fart.  The first Gulf War was, of course, in 1991 — not 1989 as I said above.  I think I conflated it with the fall of the Berlin Wall for some bizarre reason.  ‘Those ignorant of history’ apparently includes me.  Ok, so it was 18 years, not 20, and the irony only holds 50%.  Still, I think the basic point — that the relationship between the United States and the Muslim world over the last three decades has been a pretty consistently bloody and violent one — stands up.

2 Responses to “Nice Dates”
  1. Oscar Cwajbaum says:

    As I recall, in the first Gulf War most of the Muslim countries were allies fighting along side our troops. I think that qualifies under “respect and partnership”.

    I also seem to remember that the Iranian Hostage Crisis began when Iranians decided to topple the corrupt US puppet government and set up a government more closely aligned with their beliefs and wishes. That’s not waging war against the US — that’s kicking out foreign invaders.

    Saying that our relationship with the Muslim world has been consistently bloody and violent is a gross overgeneralization, and is akin to saying our relationship with conservative Christians has been consistently bloody and violent and citing various anti-abortion and anti-gay domestic terrorisism acts as evidence.

  2. Kyle Haight says:

    I’d characterize that as utilitarian at best. Certainly Osama bin Laden didn’t view it as respect and partnership — the presence of infidel Americans in Saudi Arabia as a result of that war is one of his standard grievances against the United States.

    Your point regarding the Iranian Hostage crisis supports me, though, unless you consider imposing a corrupt puppet government a form of respect and partnership. And kicking out foreign invaders through force absolutely is a war, even if it were (as you apparently consider it) a justified one. Or would you say that what the Soviet Union did to Germany in 1942-45 wasn’t a war, since they were just kicking out foreign invaders?

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