In the best of times, it is not easy to explain the
complexities of the Middle East and how the United States has related to it over
the past century. Most Americans are oblivious to their country's massive impact
on the world and on the Middle East in particular. It is even harder after the
trauma of September 11 to explain that for decades the United States itself
helped to foster some of the radical-extremist Islamic tendencies that gave rise
to the horrific attacks on U.S. cities.