Saim wrote:Yes, the ideological aspect of the problem has a name, and you just mentioned it — Wahhabism . “Islamic extremism”, on the other hand, is ambiguous, because it can just as well be employed in the Americans’ hysterical screeching on Iran, Hamas (or even Palestinians in general) or Hezbollah. Based on your posts so far I think you’d agree that that has very little to do with Wahhabism.
Like I said, anything along these lines would have been fine.
As for “withdrawing support from countries that cultivate Wahhabism”, I see no reason to believe the term “Islamic extremism” has any magical properties that would make heads of state who utter it automatically cut ties with Saudi Arabia or Qatar. In fact, Trump has been pretty resoundingly pro-Saudi, all while being a massive Islamophobe domestically (and he has said “Islamic extremism”). So I just don’t see the connection in terms of things that have actually happened.
Getting the terminology right doesn't guarantee any positive results, but it's obviously still important. You yourself have argued for the importance of clearly identifying racism wherever it pops up.
Regarding East Asians, I’m sure if the US military was in the business of starving Japanese children (rather than Yemeni children as is the case now), we’d be hearing all sorts of things about how Shinto, Buddhism and other aspects of Japanese culture are inferior or violent. That’s what you come to understand when you have a materialistic (which is distinct from economically reductionist) rather than idealistic view of history.
We'd be hearing those sorts of things, but how much traction would they gain? That depends not just on materialistic factors, but also on the inherent plausibility and explanatory power of any given narrative.
linguoboy wrote:
It's just the humble analysis of an interested observer who lived through the times.
I'm not really sure how "withdrawing support from allied countries that cultivate Wahhabism" would have helped.
By putting pressure on them to stop spreading Wahhabism. Another even more effective policy would be for the US to stop meddling militarily in Islamic countries.
That's basically Saudi and we're not withdrawing support from them while they are one of the only countries that has the oil we need still on speaking terms with us. (Maybe if our slow-motion coup in Venezuela succeeds and we can pump them dry instead, that will change, but I wouldn't hold your breath on that.)
Whether or not our politicians are willing to implement a policy is a separate question.