If you'd like to make a point, I'd be happy to respond to it.
>These people have legitimate grievances which people in the west continue to fuel
Really? These people just bombed an embassy because a movie offended them. These people earlier bombed embassies because cartoons offended them. These people, earlier still, sentenced an author to death because they were offended by a segment in one of his novels, in which a paranoid schizophrenic hallucinates that he is the archangel Gibreel.
These people are barbaric, violent, and emotionally stunted. These people react to people saying things they don't like by blowing them up, and these people think it their right to force their beliefs on the world at the point of a sword or muzzle of an AK-47.
>they believe their moral values are more 'enlightened'
Our values are more enlightened, in case you hadn't noticed. Your attempts to draw false equivalences between a culture which enshrines freedom and equality in law, and one which attacks same at every turn, is both laughable and deplorable.
Democratic due process?
Tell that to the Palestinians when they voted for Hamas in a free and fair election only to be shunned.
Freedom of speech?
Tell that to the numerous people arrested and imprisoned around the world under sedition/hate speech because they talk about Jihad or defending their countries.
America has the biggest imprisoned population in the world. Assuming you are American. Freedom is a cliche term thrown around with such little weight that it pains me to tears.
Who was it that shot down a civilian airliner but never apologised? Which countries invaded the middle east? Which countries colonised and looted most of what is now the third world. Which country kills journalists and bombs news broadcasting stations? Which countries bombed a environmental protest ship, killed crew and never apologised, yet in the same breath has the audacity to talk about a liberté, égalité and fraternité.
I mean your narrow, one sided, hypocritical and arrogant opinion is directly why some people get so angry. Consider the fact that all the things I mentioned before were performed by governments, not unruly mobs in anarchic post revolutionary states. Who is truly barbaric?
I hate to pull out this one, but Hitler was democratically elected, as well. Just because a government was chosen by its people does not mean that it is legitimate. Hamas seeks the eradication of a state and its people; it is rightly shunned. Now, I'm by no means pro-Israel. The Palestinian people need to have their own contiguous, viable state, despite how dim that prospect looks at present.
>Assuming you are American
I am not, and you'll find no support for the current American legal system from me. I do, however, highly value the American Constitution and the values it represents. It saddens me that those values are not better defended at present.
What I take from your post is that you seem to think I am some neocon imperialist. I am not. I despise injustice wherever it occurs, and my sentiments are distinctly post-statist. That said, Western civilization faces an existential threat from an enemy who despises its very foundations, and it is our very pluralism that blinds us to this threat. Too often, too many commit the fallacy that damns cultural relativism: that we must be tolerant of the intolerant. To this, I say no! We cannot tolerate that which attacks the very ideals our society is based upon. If we truly believe the foundations of our society to be morally superior, then when must defend them. It falls to those who deny this claim to show how a society predicated on subjugation and inequity can be morally equivalent to one predicated upon liberty and equality.
I feel it necessary to further clarify that I do not defend the actions of any particular Western country wholesale, rather I defend the precepts upon which Western civilization is based. Were the religious fundamentalists (of any origin) content to keep to themselves, I would have no problem with that. The fact is, they aren't. For them, it is not enough that they follow their beliefs; others must follow them too. This brings them into direct conflict with us, and it's a conflict they started. If we wish to maintain or, better yet, improve our society, we must first defend it against those who would see it remade in their likeness.
Actually, it does.
One can't argue the Nazi's were illegitimate. They were legitimate (for a short time). One could argue they were evil and needed to be deposed by external force.
> This brings them into direct conflict with us, and it's a conflict they started.
They started it? That's cycle of violence rhetoric, and partly why you're getting pushback.
This argument is simply wrong. Those who engage in terrorist attacks against us do not do so because we invaded there lands, or any such thing. This is a dangerous fallacy. One of the most ridiculed statements of the Bush administration is actually the closest we've come to the truth: they hate us for our freedoms. Truly, they do. The islamic fundamentalists view western civilization not because of our military imperialism, but because of our cultural imperialism. They hate that our values and culture turn "good muslims" into crass, liberal swine.
Now, certainly there are those in the middle east who hate our interventionism, and with good reason. They have legitimate complaints. But they are not the ones blowing themselves up, nor are they the ones encouraging same. OBL didn't give a rat's ass about our military intervention in the middle east; he hated the liberalization and secularization of Arab countries. One of the worst lies told by the left (of which I proudly consider myself a member) is that terrorism is a response to our imperialism. It isn't. It's a response to our values.