Originally Posted by bjjs
Am I wrong for suggesting that the rising, intelligent middle class of these middle-eastern countries that was overthrowing dictators and leading a revolution maybe isn't so intelligent, or atleast heavily outnumbered by others influenced by extremist leadership?
I'm far from well-educated on the subject, but one year ago, the news was painting the general population of these countries in a very positive light. Now they're using a movie as an excuse to be violent.
Are these events masterminded by political groups? What's going on?
I don't have much expertise in the region, but going off of the comments of pundits who appear well-informed, much of the reaction is being encouraged or instigated by those on the extreme right of politics in these countries (Islamist fundamentalists). There may also be some confusion as some residents of the Middle East believe that it is within the power of the US to block publications like this, so when the videos do come out, they interpret the US government as complicit in the offense.
However, the broader point that you make is a relevant and interesting one, and one that the US has had to face for decades now. If they are the liberators that they claim, why are they not viewed as liberators, and why is their influence so limited among the public?
Something to be said for empathy here. I don't mean to say that any of the attacks can (or should) be justified; my point is that we approach these events and politics with our perspective, forgetting how utterly foreign it may be to the countries in which we try to foster the values that we believe to be superior (for example, liberal democracy).
Also, keep in mind that for all of the supposed superiority of The West, it is clear that there are an awful lot of failures here, and that's after how many years of experimenting with the political and social infrastructure....We shouldn't expect that exporting this to other countries is a sure-fire win.