September 24th, 2012
04:34 PM ET

It’s about them, not us

By Fareed Zakaria

There is a kind of bipartisan arrogance that is often at work in Washington, where both sides believe that everything happening in the world is a consequence of American power and policy. If only we had made a different speech or implemented a different policy, or sent out a different tweet. But the truth is, what is happening in the Arab world is not about us – it is really about them.

Watch the video for Fareed's take on the reasons for the unrest in the Arab world. Fareed Zakaria GPS airs on Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET.


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soundoff (139 Responses)
  1. King George

    Vice President Dick Cheney, as we wrote in a 2008 editorial, took “the bizarre view that the lesson of Watergate was that Congress was too powerful and the president not powerful enough.” After the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the Bush/Cheney team saw an opening to free the presidency from checks and balances. They exploited the fear and insecurity that were pervasive at the time to claim emergency powers, creating offshore detention centers where prisoners were held without charge and eavesdropping on Americans without a warrant.

    Mr. Bush’s signing statements not only amounted to a significant usurpation of power, but they came at a time when Congress was giving him everything he wanted. Congress passed the deeply flawed Patriot Act and authorized the invasion of Iraq. It even gave its retroactive approval to warrantless wiretapping. Mr. Bush also achieved many of his domestic policy goals, including tax breaks that mostly benefited the richest Americans.

    September 25, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Reply
  2. Jay

    The reality is, is that islam has failed and entire swath of humanity. They cant and wont admit it. I can see why they feel humiliated. Theyve destroyed their own lives around false religion and they need someone to blame.

    September 25, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Reply
    • Brian

      Let's be honest here, all religions are false.

      September 26, 2012 at 9:17 am | Reply
  3. Fragle This

    George Bush used executive power – good.
    Obama uses executive power – Bad.

    George Bush makes speech at UN – good.
    Obama makes speech at UN – bad.

    George Bush plays golf – good.
    Obama plays golf – bad.

    George Bush kisses saudi king and holds his hand – good.
    Obama bows to Saudi king (sign of respect) – bad.

    George Bush failed protecting America 911 – good.
    Obama has 4 people dead in Libya – bad.

    George Bush gives up looking for Bin Laden – good.
    Obama kills Bin Laden – Republicans give credit to Bush.

    Bush stumps for re-election – good.
    Obama stumps for re-election – bad.

    You Republicans are a pathetic bunch.

    September 25, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Reply
  4. Majav

    Yes, but is it about the US in the Arab world. Our misguided arrogance is a huge issue. We saw this in the collapse of the USSR- Reagan took credit for it when in fact it was the local activists on the ground that fomented change. The difference between the Soviet collapse and the Arab Spring is the US treats Arabs as fodder for the armaments industry. Can you imagine Reagan using drones in the Soviet Republics c. 1988?

    What is Romney's stance on drones? The Obama Administration has killed over one hundred children using drones. Why isn't this on CNN? Killing children is worse than enslaving them.

    According to the UK's Guardian website: "...between 2,562 and 3,325 people have been killed in Pakistan between June 2004 and mid-September this year – of whom between 474 and 881 were civilians, including 176 children. The figures have been assembled by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism..."

    In 2016 the USA will attempt to use drones domestically. Companies are already marketing demand to local police departments as well as US Dept of Immigration. They are already being assembled in California in which former members of the National Guard get paid by companies that are engaged to assemble them.

    And you are worried about goat herders with antiquated equipment in Afghanistan???

    The drones are coming, the drones are coming!

    September 25, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Reply
    • RandomX

      Also, take a few sentences to explain Bin Laden hiding in the West Point of Pakistan, a muslim country, puhleaase? Explain Islamic countries regularly hiding terrorists instead of bringing them to justice, again puhleaase?

      September 25, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Reply
  5. Ken from FL

    Uh, yeah, thanks, Fareed. I think.

    September 25, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  6. Bill

    When their own leaders would rather denounce this ridiculous film then violence, then it is indeed their problem. Many of the problems in Arab nations, and the Middle east, has much to do with explosive population growth and lack of education. Plus a history of leaders who are corrupt and incompetent. We can say just "get out of the way" but the world is to connected and resources to scarce to realistically dissapear. In Afghanistan, for instance, we did pull away and left that nation to itself, and ultimately, to other influences (in this case Pakistan). In the end we had 2K dead New Yorkers. It just is not that simple.

    September 25, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  7. palintwit

    You know you're a teabagger when you bring a loaded assault weapon and a bible to a political rally.

    September 25, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  8. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    @dirge14

    Wanna know how Bush is like Adolph Hitler? Prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the entire world protested against an invasion of Iraq. In 2003, 3 million people gathered in Rome to protest the war, setting a Guiness Book of Record for the largest peace time rally in history. During this period, UN inspectors were on the ground in Iraq sucessfully destroying long range and short range missiles and dismantling the Iraqi military peacefully and without bloodshed and lost of life. Iraq was no longer a threat to its neighbors and neither was it a threat to the United States. But the dictator and war criminal GWB intervened prematurely and violated international law by telling UN inspectors that they had fourty eight hours to leave the country before the bombs started falling. Like Adolph Hitler, GWB invaded a sovereign country in peace time to start a war, murdering tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis and American citizens over a bogus lie about WMDs that have not materialized nine years later. Now, Iraq is bog down in a civiil war that may last for generatiosn to come. Let's face it, invading a country that is at war with the hope to stabilize it and bring about peace is one thing but to invade a country in peace time where no domestic unrest is taking place to destabilize it and ignite a civil war is a war crime and so far, the worst war crime of the 21st century. Still want to know how GWB compares to Adolph Hitler? There's your answer.

    September 25, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Reply
  9. palintwit

    You know you're a teabagger when the only cable channel you get is the 24 hour nascar channel.

    September 25, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  10. hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

    It is not America's fault and It is not Arab's fault, than who's fault is it? hindu Jew's, filthy self centered.

    September 25, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Reply
    • Amr Azim

      Yes, it is Israel fault!

      September 25, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Reply
  11. palintwit

    You know you're a teabagger when you'd rather boink your cousin instead of that cute girl that works next to you at the glue factory.

    September 25, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  12. yeahright

    Fareed, did you plagiarize this story too?

    September 25, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Reply
    • outawork

      Plagiarize is such an ugly word. I prefer theft.

      September 25, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Reply
  13. KEVIN

    Fareed, you sound kinda nervous today. Do you know what I know concerning what the US is about to do? And it will not be boots on the ground or anything conventional in military practice.

    September 25, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Reply
  14. Amr Azim

    No, that Indian guy got it all wrong. The Middle East Arabs are angry, because the US continue to kiss the ass of Israel.

    September 25, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Reply
  15. Reposted With Intent To Educate

    ARE INDIANS UBER TERRORISTS OR WHAT???? Forget the GDP, focus on these murder statistics.
    In India, millions of girls are strangled, slowly starved or simply tossed in the trash. Moreover, in India, at least 1,370 girls are aborted every day. As a comparison, some 250 Indians die every day in road accidents. Terrorists killed about six people, on an average, every day in 2009. In the last two decades of economic progress, 10 million girls have died as such in India.
    SHAME ON INDIA AND ITS BARBARIC AND MEDIEVAL CULTURE !!!
    Indians have killed more human beings (girls particularly) than Al Qaeda and Talibans put together.

    September 25, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Reply
  16. Jessup Germaine

    A PRIMER FOR MIDDLE EAST:::
    THE ECONOMIC SUBJUGATION OF INDIA & The Taming of Hindus!!!
    The one most successful aspect of recent American foreign policy has been the conquest of India without firing a bullet. That is the beauty of capitalism used as a Trojan Horse! Economic victory! Give them a taste of steak and they will never settle for hamburgers again. USA now owns India Inc. not only economically but also militarily as economic subjugation ultimately leads to military domination. The recent win for US multinationals has been pressuring the Indian Govt to open up majority ownership of domestic companies by foreign investors. US will now be virtually able to control the government policies in India via remote control in Wash D.C.

    The take away is that US needs to find a similar mechanism Middle East/North Africa/South Asia to control events without having to depend on military dictatorships to do the biding. Economic subjugation appears to be the way out but what may be applicable to Hindus may not work in case of Muslims. That poses the dilemma that we are struggling with. Israel may have to be the sacrificial goat to make this happen, I am afraid.

    September 25, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Reply
  17. SayWhaaa

    Fareed ever since you got busted for plagiarism, you've been an awful lot of brown nosing. Let me ask you is it ever "our" fault like you were born raised here.

    September 25, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Reply
  18. nibiro

    Obama will be talking about giving him a second chance and mitt
    will be speaking about solving the economy with facts remember this man is a millioniare he knows how TO MAKE MONEY ,
    And thats what we need . A money maker.

    September 25, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Reply
  19. moose1

    I see the middle east turned to a huge, solid sheet of glass!! THEN, we will lose our dependence on foreign oil!!!

    September 25, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Reply
  20. sfg

    Fareed would know, he is not one of US.

    September 25, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Reply
  21. xfiler93

    CNN let this fake come back?

    September 26, 2012 at 1:34 am | Reply
  22. Ruman hashmi

    Fareed it seems by telling this you want to safe your job,if it so in relation to America then what does support to Israel on the cost of civilian Palestine people death by the Israel.what about a great lie about weapon of mass destruction in Iraq, why did Bush go there.for what you went in Lybia, Afghanistan.in the past in Latin American countries for Banana? why you were searching in Vietnam. in spite of all this thing you say it is them ! Wonderful.

    September 26, 2012 at 7:23 am | Reply
  23. ziggystardust

    i propose we pull out of all islamic lands as they seem to want. of course that means no more money from us. no more aid or contact of any kind. we stay out of their lands and they stay out of ours. should eliminate all but arab on arab terror. not pc i know,but might work. leave them on their own & they can leave us alone.

    September 26, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Reply
  24. deniz boro

    If the others do not serve you can always refer to the gone-byes.

    September 26, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Reply
  25. johnny

    If it is them, why is America getting involved in other people's business. US should save all those trillions to help US economy and create jobs. These moneys have been wasted on them for far too long, and for too much.

    Nothing peaceful have been achieved by Police America, besides generating huge profits for a group of defence contractors and promoting enemies and hate everywhere.

    September 26, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Reply
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