Increasing and Permeating Anti-US Sentiment in the Middle East: A Qualitative Investigation of Perceived Justifications, with Humanistic Theory and Practical Solutions

Nicholas P. Anders

Abstract


According to scholars, experts, articles, books and this report, the already complex and tumultuous relationship between many in the Middle East and the United States is exacerbated by US foreign policies perceived as being anti-Islamic and anti-Arab, and the relationship is worsening. This essay asserts that the challenging geostrategic environment is reshaping US foreign policy by means of the changing nature of diplomacy and military confrontation. Based on Humanistic Theory, this study hypothesizes that US policies and Arab/Muslim reaction to such policies enhance the negative sentiment. US foreign policies are thoroughly researched and contextualized with qualitative methodology. In-depth research illuminates a permeating anti-US sentiment while exposing that many in the Middle East perceive “The War On Terrorism” as being a US-driven war on Islam and Arabs. Perceptions are increasingly important, particularly in an era when violent fundamentalists are poised to surround themselves with explosives to demonstrate solidarity with fellow Muslims and Arabs deemed as being under attack from the world’s sole hegemonic Superpower. Due to increasing anti-US sentiment, US national security and global influence risk being diminished. The emerging ideological conflict is determining the future of US foreign policy by reshaping the very essence of US international relations. Presumably, the ideological conflict can and will ultimately be resolved with substantial diplomatic, humanistic efforts, and through a deep contextual as well as cultural understanding of the historic and current drivers of the pseudo-religious conflict. An effective means of confronting the conflict is for US policymakers to thoroughly contextualize the cultural landscape of the Middle East, while being as ready to call up cultural competence as eagerly as calling up the military. This study proposes that employing more of a humanistic and diplomatic approach to the bloody and ideological conflict will prove a staggeringly more effective and substantive alternative to militarism in these parts of the globe. Additionally, excerpts from an exclusive, personally conducted interview – with former Director General of the US Foreign Service at the State Department, Ambassador Anthony Quainton – examine the necessity to and practicality of approaching the conflict with diplomacy and a humanistic mentality.

Keywords


Anti-Americanism; US Foreign Policy; Diplomacy

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