The Middle East Times: Addressing sources of Mideast violence against the U.S.:

Many of us accept the premise that terrorism is a phenomenon that can be defeated only by amelioration of the conditions that inspire it. Terrorism’s best asset, in the final analysis, is the anger and desperation that leads people to see no alternative to violence.

While only a fringe element has seized upon violence as their solution, many of the world’s 1.2 billion Muslim people are understandably aggrieved by double standards. America claims that it must impose economic sanctions on certain countries that violate human rights and/or harbor weapons of mass destruction. Yet the U.S. largely ignores Muslim victims of human rights violations in Palestine, Bosnia, Kosovo, Kashmir and Chechnya. What’s more, while the U.S. economy is propped up by weapon sales to countries around the globe and particularly in the Middle East, Washington insists on economic sanctions to prevent weapons development in Libya, Sudan, Iran and Iraq.

In Iraq, the crippling economic sanctions cost the lives of 5,000 children under age five every month. Over one million Iraqis have died as a direct result of over a decade of sanctions. Finally, Washington’s pro-Israel policy unfairly puts higher demands on Palestinians to renounce violence than on Israelis to halt new settlements and adhere to U.N. resolutions calling for an Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian lands.

That anger cannot be extinguished by Tomahawk missiles or military operations. The present U.S. strategy for ending the threat of terrorism through the use of military force will only exacerbate this anger and desperation.