Today’s WSJ runs an oped claiming what? Free market trade agreements with
the angry Muslims will solve terror problem. The highlighted graph is it.
The whole thing. Thesis, argument; conclusion: “the problem is easy to fix”!
1200 year old command to war against the infidel will be fixed if we just
buy more Hummus!!!!

Free Trade Can Fight Terror

By EDWARD GRESSER and MARC DUNKELMAN
August 15, 2008; Page A15

When trade flares up as a political issue — as it is likely to do in the
presidential campaign this year — one aspect of the debate is almost always
neglected. There is a fierce competition among foreign countries to sell
their products here, in the United States, the largest commercial market in
the world.

Moreover, by opening up our market to Muslim countries, we could not only
help American consumers, but also serve a larger strategic goal: that of
boosting the economies which now produce large pools of unemployed,
embittered youth. We can make trade an effective weapon against terrorism.

Our tariff regime puts many nations in the Middle East, whose young people
are susceptible to the sirens of Islamic fundamentalism, at an unintended
disadvantage. This works against our efforts to stamp out jihadism.
Fortunately, the problem is easy to fix.

The U.S. buys about a fifth of all the goods and services traded world-wide
— importing $2.63 trillion worth of the world’s products last year alone.
Socks come in from the Caribbean, towels from Pakistan, cheese from France,
and oil from Saudi Arabia.

But apart from oil, very little comes from the Muslim world. The 30
majority-Muslim states of the greater Middle East, from Morocco through
Egypt to Pakistan and Central Asia, account for about 10% of the world’s
population. They provide about 1% of our manufactured imports, and an even
smaller fraction of our farm imports.

The statistics hint at one of the least-studied but most ominous aspects of
the modern global economy. Most of us frame the last quarter-century with
narratives about globalization, the rise of China and the spread of the
Internet. But for the Muslim countries of the Middle East, and their
neighbors in Pakistan and Central Asia, it was a period of economic disaster
rivaling our Great Depression.

 

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