A masked man is now giving the United States of America what the networks seem to want to believe is sage advice and insights on U.S. policy in the Middle East.

The masked man is “Anonymous, ” and he made the rounds of the networks (albeit in the shadows so we couldn’t see his face) last night to hawk his new book, Imperial Hubris.

Said to be a CIA man still working at the agency, Anon believes that it is U.S. policies that have given rise to terrorism in the Middle East.

The masked man says that the Bush administration in particular is culpable, and that its tactics are a terrorist dream, the perfect recruiting tool for Bin Laden.

Well, never mind that Inkwell prefers her policy advisers to be willing to state their names, if not their ranks and serial numbers, this is just more blaming the United States for the Middle East’s indigenous culture of hatred.

The always independent-minded Stanley Crouch, writing in the New York Daily News today unmasks the folly of what Anon is saying in a piece headlined “Jihadis’ Hatred Is Independent of Our Policies.”

“Before we invaded Iraq,” Crouch writes, “‘Frontline’ had a correspondent question a lot of Muslims about the 9/11 attack. No one found anything wrong with it. One young woman in Yemen said it was good because it was payback for what the U.S. and Israel had ‘done to us.’ She said she would be happy if she had children who grew up to be suicide bombers.”

“[Anonymous] says to me that those who claim we have done much for jihad recruitment by going into Afghanistan and Iraq have it wrong. I don’t believe we are any more hated today than we were in the period right after 9/11. To buy the notion that we are the targets of more hostility now would mean ignoring the attacks on the embassies in Kenya and on the Navy’s Cole warship.

“What about the men who behead hostages, like that young South Korean, on videotape? They say they want to show the world how wronged they have been and how committed they are to jihad. But is that really what they want? It seems to me they’re trying to isolate the U.S. and provoke a reaction so angry that it will further radicalize Iraqis and other Muslims. It’s an old terrorist strategy.”