First, Hanson summarizes what he calls the “Standard View”, one I share:
....radical jihadists and Islamists scapegoated the West for the mostly self-inflicted wounds of the Middle East. Endemic tribalism, gender apartheid, statism, corruption, religious intolerance, fundamentalism, and an absence of transparency — in a globally connected world that is progressing without these burdens — best explain why the region is a remarkably poor place, despite enormous natural wealth.
In rage at the more successful systems abroad — who, after all, should not be successful given their obvious decadence and absence of piety — the Islamists call for a reactionary return to centuries-past glories. These mythologies are based on solutions found in sharia and the Koran rather than in liberalizing their societies.
....Finally, hatred and violence is usually directed at the U.S. — and not to the same degree at Russia or China, whose records on Islama are far more intolerant than that of the West — largely because such grievances against the world’s superpower better resonate worldwide, and because a self-critical America is so bothered by such dislike in a way not true of a Putin or the Chinese Communist Party.Hanson then contrasts the “Standard View” to that of Obama’s (and, I would add, that of many American liberals):
...jihad, Islamism, and Muslim intolerance are largely ... a product of either Western ignorance of Middle East customs or willful [Western] prejudices. A far better approach than a “war on terrorism” or zero-tolerance of Islamic hate-filled extremism toward the United States, or constant calls for Middle Easterners to reform, is a more subtle understanding of what drives such hatred — poverty, hopelessness, illiteracy — for which to some degree the West is culpable and therefore obligated to be patient with and understanding of otherwise incomprehensible rhetoric and violence.
Obama's view to me is that The West is over-reacting to a problem in Islam of significantly their own making and so must be understanding, patient, and self-effacing in response -- what to me seems to be an attitude of "It's the West's fault" and "Muslims will be Muslims."