Syed suffers from the standard delusions that plague the
Middle East

To the Daily:

I’ve read Waj Syed’s articles for the Daily in the
past, and while I rarely agreed with his opinions or conclusions, I
understood his logic in the context of his background and
experiences concerning Pakistan and the Middle East.

However, in his recent viewpoint (The day Saddam’s
statue fell, 04/13/04
), Syed seems to have drifted into the
land of irrationality. Let’s face it: There is nothing that
the United States or President Bush can do to satisfy Syed and
perhaps millions of other people from the Middle East. Nothing. If
the world woke up tomorrow, every Middle Eastern government had
suddenly been transformed into a democracy, the Palestinian issue
had been peacefully resolved and Osama bin Laden turned himself in
and officially repudiated terrorism, complaints directed at the
United States from Syed and others would still flow like honey on a
hot day.

It’s ironic yet predictable that Syed, educated in America
and acclimated to its free press like millions of other foreign
nationals before him, would seek to submit this screed to an
American newspaper. Would he ever have the balls to publish such a
criticism of the Pakistani, or any other Middle Eastern government,
in a newspaper within Pakistan or the Middle East? Of course not
— the freedom to rebuke the government is not available
there. Thus, Syed e-mailed you, with your splendid 113 years of
editorial freedom. He’s tacitly forbidden to address problems
in his own country, so why not go back to his old standby, The
Michigan Daily, where he’s got a captive audience of
well-intentioned but misguided leftist undergrads to impress?
He’s obviously taken Psych 101, and knows that ad hominem
Bush bashing is sport on college campuses, the equivalent of a
comedian resorting to fart jokes: transiently funny, but not
terribly substantive.

Syed is paralyzed by the same schizophrenia as many other
thinkers from the Middle East. On one hand, they resent the
involvement and presence of the United States in the Middle East
and see it as the cause of problems there. On the other, they seem
to imply that the United States alone must solve these problems.
Which way do you want it, Waj?

Kenneth A. Longo

Research scientist

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