Rami Khouri, Editor-at-Large of the Daily Star in Beirut, provides a perspective on Anglo-American interventions in the Middle East. He begins as follows:
Many of us in the Middle East instinctively hold our breath in fear when American and British leaders get together to discuss our region and its evolving politics and nations, as U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair did last week in Washington. They heaped accolades on the new Iraqi government headed by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, and proclaimed yet another beacon of hope and change for the entire Arab world. Bush applauded the "watershed event." Blair, during a fleeting visit to Baghdad, called it "a new beginning" that will let Iraqis take charge of their own destiny.
The view from the Arab world is rather different, based on our own history rather than imagined futures. Since Napoleon's conquest of Egypt two centuries ago, most of us have doubted the sincerity, legitimacy and efficacy of the Western armies that regularly march into our lands to deliver modernity through the muzzle of a French musket or the barrel of an M-1 tank. While Anglo-American politicians proclaim historic strides to replace Arab despotism and darkness with freedom and democracy, people who actually live here and know something about the Middle East shudder. For they witness Iraq and other Arab countries descending into an ever more fractious maelstrom of ethnic, religious and tribal violence. The link with U.S. and British policies is as clear and consistent as it is dangerous and destructive.
Well worth reading.