Shadi Hamid in Patheos:
President Obama has correctly put his finger on torture abuses, the Iraq war, Guantanamo Bay, and the festering Arab-Israeli conflict as sources of anti-Americanism. But before Iraq and Guantanamo, and at the peak of Oslo peace process, the U.S. was still viewed by many in the region with weariness, if not, at times, outright suspicion and hatred.
The sources of grievance are deeper and more pronounced than we like to think. America has been seen as a destructive force and an obstacle to Arab progress, in large part due to our remarkably consistent support of repressive Arab autocrats, over not years but decades. It has been an unfortunate, costly bargain – regimes support our strategic interests in the region. In return, we turn a blind eye to the crushing of domestic opposition. This wager was justified by policymakers as a necessary evil during the Cold War. However, it did not end then, and our economic and military support for some of the region's most egregious actors continues.