Analysis of Robert Fisk's "Why"

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David Lunde
INTS 3020
10/11/2012
“Analysis of Robert Fisk’s ‘Why?’”

In my opinion, asking the “why” question must always be the first step in critical thinking. Failure to address this question will result in an incomplete analysis in any situation. In Robert Fisk’s “Why?” the author seeks to answer the difficult “why” questions surrounding 9/11 and its aftermath on several fronts. First, Fisk sets out to answer why “they” [the Arabs who hijacked the planes] attacked “us” [the United States] and explains the understandable resentment that many people within the Middle East feel towards the United States. Second, he seeks to answer why the United States government and our society reacted in such a manner after 9/11 and evaluates this response. Third, Fisk pinpoints the past and present violent actions of the United States government, which I believe intentionally leaves the reader, me, with unresolved “why” regarding the United States’ foreign policy: why do these policies that further erode our relations with states in the Middle East continue to exist?. Ultimately, Fisk’s article serves as a powerful critique of ongoing tensions between the United States and many people living within the Middle East and provides invaluable insight into the state of affairs post-9/11.

In the first theme, Fisk uncovers the motivation underneath the animosity felt towards the United States. This hatred of the United States did not spring up overnight. True hatred breeds slowly and deliberately. The narrative of the past sixty years in the Middle East is littered with cases of United States intervention and broken promises, Fisk mentions has led to an Arab sense of humiliation (859). For our strategic, political, and economic advantage, the United States government supported dictators such as Hosni Mubarak, the Shah of Iran, and Saddam Hussein who persecuted their people. We even arranged for a coup to remove a democratically elected leader in Iran who we deemed as...
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