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Western countries have been reluctant to face up to the region's underlying realities, set out in a 2002 report by the United Nations Development Program.The more dictatorial politics in the region became, the more young men – denied both jobs and freedom of expression – turned to extremist and violent Islamism, the perversion of a great faith.Denying reality, American and British neoconservatives apparently believe that recent events justify their view that their war of choice in Iraq would have been a great success had there only been more of it.With U.N. Security Council support, the world's humanitarian efforts should be more extensive and focused, so that greater relief can be brought to the almost 11 million Syrians refugees who need it.Finally, we should not ignore the continuing toxicity of the unresolved Israel-Palestine conflict, which continues to feed political extremism and raises serious questions about the West's commitment to human rights.
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