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very little to say, outside the fact that it's horrible and, at least for me and everybody I know, very distressing. There's been a dramatic increase in the number of attacks on targets identified with the West and every indication seems to be that they will go on increasing until we start ameliorating, first off, the enourmous gulf of distrust that exists between whole populations.
The high rhetoric about "advancing democracy", etc., constantly poured forth has a near total disconnect, so far as I can tell, from the reality anybody subject to those policies can see. This makes actually advancing such goals all the more difficult - it just becomes a cynical buzzword identified with Western imperialism. We obviously need better engagement in terms of propaganda and more importantly discourse, but we also need to tackle the gulf between rhetoric and policy: the subjects of US interventionism aren't going to believe that which they can't see with their own eyes. Americans themselves, of course, are crowned with blinders. When you look at Uzbekistan, where regretably by appearances and past behavior the administration will hand another wavier over for rights violations next month, there's every reason to believe that this problem is going to continue expanding both in scope and depth:
This deteriorating socio-economic environment is provoking a rising tide of popular frustration, which in some regions fosters support for radical Islamist groups. Expectations that increased Western engagement after 11 September 2001 would lead to regime liberalisation have been disappointed. Instead, there is growing disenchantment with the U.S. military presence and increasing identification of Western institutions and governments with the repressive regime.
That, in a nutshell, is the archetype for the underlying problem with Western policy in the Arab world since just about forever, and the Bushist mission to incite anger and frustration with the West is steadily expanding beyond it, on into, among other places, Central Asia.
Nevertheless there's really rather serious counter-terror work to be done that's not being done, so while the clucking about the political implications of the attacks has all been very interesting [cough], re-electing incompetence would send a poor message to those who already are terrorists.