Welcome to the Middle East Today

The Middle East has traditionally been important for the world economy. The Middle East situation today has an impact on all aspects of life in America and much of the world.

Only by understanding the motivations of the various factions in the Middle East can we hope to understand how to promote peace and national security for Middle Eastern nations, Europe, and the United States.

Feb 11, 2010

Comment on Thomas Friedman's Article

Thomas Friedman's op-ed in the NYT (1/10/2010) was interesting and I recommend it for readers of this post.

I totally agree with Friedman's idea that "the building of Yemen's secular educational system is a must."

The high unemployment among college graduates and poverty are also critical issues that need to be dealt with.

In previous posts, I have discussed Yemen's poverty rate, unemployment, civil war, and the absence of democracy. Those are vital factors that encourage some young educated to join Al Qaeda.

Furthermore, the Wahabi fundamentalists have played an important role in the spread of radical Islam with the help of Western powers to combat communism during the cold war.

It should also be mentioned here that the Afghan's war (1970s-1980s) played an influential role in promoting radical Islam.More than 12 thousands young Muslims were recruited by the CIA to fight Russian forces. The Jihadists involved in the fighting were never rehabilitated. They were unemployed and viewed the West as imperial colonialist power protecting corrupt Arab regimes.

Creating employment opportunities in Yemen as well as in other parts of the Arab world might stop the success of Al Qaeda in recruiting young men. Hence, the West needs to invest in Yemen in order to create jobs rather than sending military hardware.

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