Ray McGovern is a former CIA analyst who used to prepare the President’s Daily Brief. He is now a peace activist trying to help a reluctant America look behind the curtain and see the real reasons for American foreign policies. When he came to speak at our church, I had dinner with him thanks to Bonnie Tamres-Moore. I found him to be thoughtful and sensitive.

It is much in the interest of hawks in this country and in Israel to continue presenting the Arab world as irrational religionists. It would be as if Rev. Fred Phelps and Rev. John Hagee were constantly presented on Arab news as representing Christianity. What that version of the news ignores is precisely the valid concerns that people may have. It is much better for Americans to believe that they won’t listen to reason and only understand force.

I believe that Islam has a serious problem with violence, as I also believe Judaism and Christianity do. When you believe you are God’s chosen group, mistreating others comes easily. Political affairs are seldom about who is right and who is wrong. That’s what the propaganda addresses. Political affairs in the Middle East is much more likely about things like land, and oil and the meddling of Western foreign powers in the lives of a frustrated and humiliated people.

What follows is Ray McGovern’s interpretation about the real issues in the Middle East. As always I do not post this because I agree with everything in it, but because I believe it presents an important interpretation of events we are not hearing much in our own news coverage.