N.B. All the names in these exchanges are in fact pseudonyms
Exchange with Bob
This is an exchange on the Middle East I had with Bob, an educator, through our mutual friend Richard. Even though it was short-lived, it demonstrated how uninformed the American public can be on the Middle East. What is surprising, however, is that even educated Americans seem to be as uninformed as the general public. The reason for this is their total reliance on the mass media as a source of information.
Exchange with Michael
This was not really an exchange because it was limited to one question posed by Michael through Richard. In my answer, I tried to engage Michael in order to open a dialog. Given Michael's background, who is Jewish, he obviously knew more about the underlying problems of the Middle East than the other two. He opted not to pursue the dialog for one of two reasons: either he didn't want to know about embarrassing facts; or, and this is more likely, he concluded from the answer I have given him that he would be on shaky grounds debating someone who did his homework.
Exchange with Adam
This is an interesting exchange because it took the form of essays which allow to develop ideas and arguments . After my second essay, Adam chose not to continue the debate. In my opinion, the shock was so great and my arguments were so compelling and difficult, if not impossible, to refute that Adam felt that if he continued the debate the world as he knew it from the media will collapse around him. My friend Richard through whom this debate also took place told me that Adam was "a bit overwhelmed by the scope and depth of your comments." He also told me that he "will respond in time." Obviously, Adam quickly changed his mind as this became abundantly clear from his last letter.
Exchange with Steve
This exchange is not about the Middle East, it is about the Kosovo war that NATO launched against Yugoslavia in mid-March 1999. While it doesn't directly deal with the Middle East it is still interesting in the sense that it shows once again how the Americans perceive their government's military involvement overseas and how they easily buy the official line. Americans, by definition, are patriotic, which is a quality that must be admired, but, unfortunately, it tends to obfuscate their judgement.
Another exchange with Bob
This is another exchange that was triggered by the al-Aqsa intifada. It is an interesting exchange in the sense that Bob brought to the fore many of the classical arguments that Israel and its apologists mention in any debate or discussion. I refuted each and every one of them. As such, this exchange can really be considered as a 101 course in Arab-Israeli conflict. What this exchange revealed also is that in spite of the logical argumentation backed by facts, Americans who have been brainwashed for a long time by the media have a hard time (a) accepting that Israel is not after all a "democracy", at least by Western standards and (b) rejecting the mythology that envelops it. This is also an exchange that was conducted through the usual mutual friend Richard.