but we keep showing our ugly side as a nation. i think when it comes to domestic and international politics we forget our "christian" origins and turn the other cheek no longer is the message we preach. instead we seek an eye for an eye. there seems to be very little of "seek first to understand then to govern." we as americans take the low road more often than not dictating that "it's our way or the highway." we demand cooperation yet refuse to work in the better interest of our global society. there is clearly a disconnect. we forget that we have a benevolent responsibility when it comes to governing but that doesn't mean forcing compliance. we need teach by example and by living according to the principles that "we hold self-evident." we have been a blessed nation. we have had a great advantage. yet we continue to force feed democracy and american style law and order down the throats of societies that just don't think or function the same way we do. africa an the middle east are different than the usa we and other western nations need to leave them alone and agree to allow them to develop on their own timetable and evolve under their own terms instead of engineering democracy in nations that we cannot understand. most of these ares of the world have been under the control of western societies for hundreds of years and have only recently been able to taste and explore their own voice of democracy and law. that will come with failures and assaults on others. but we can't pre-emptively halt every step these nations take. we need to take a more hands off approach and seek only to protect our nation with responsibility and calculated, wise responses. i believe strongly that we need to heed the age-old words of our first president in regards to all nations:
"The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none, or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities."
inevitably in our current global economic economy this will have to evolve somewhat but for the most part we could take a cue or two from China and mind our own business. That is what i'm referring to as an Arrogant America. And that is why we've pissed off the developing world. It's not gonna change in a year. The change will come in decades and generations but every bit of it starts with our attitudes and approaches today. We as americans need to take heed and take this assault on "our way of life" as a warning. We need to change. We need to improve. We need to grow and evolve. We need to think outside of ourselves yet maintain neutrality and independence.
Katherine: i do not prescribe 100% exclusively do the beliefs or ideals of any single political thought or party. I am and will remain an independent and free of the constraints of classification and the order of labeling when it comes to my social, economic and political beliefs. I do not believe that any unique form of government is the sole and... See more unique fix to all that ails our nation and the world. I believe, much like our founding fathers that you have to take a little bit of this a little bit of that and mix it up with the culture and belief systems of those that you're governing and come up with something that works for them. and that delicate balance is going to change and evolve from generation to generation as values change, as ethics progress, as awareness is heightened and as society refines itself. again no singular fashion is the end all be all of governance. thanks for the shout out and i respect that you disagree with me when we're twinkled you'll see the light ;) LOL
Rob: I spoke not one lick about human rights issues. China is not an example of civil rights and human dignity. They are however a mostly isolationist state in terms of their political involvement and diplomatic engagements. They are not neutral like the swiss but rather seek only to maintain their interests and in so doing they have amassed a powerful force both economically and diplomatically (not to mention militarily) that could at any moment be unleashed. While we have been busy sticking our nose in everybody's business and manufacturing "democracy" they have plugged away to create an international policy system that is effective for them (though repressive to their own people). I only praise the Chinese for their relative (not exclusive) isolationism.
As to Africa. I lived in the Ivory Coast and have studied African history throughout my college years as well as continued opportunities working with displaced minorities and political and ethnic refugees. I have seen civil war. I have been shot at and tear gassed. I have witnessed the burning of men, women and children simply because they we're of a different faith. I understand the pain of Africa better than you can imagine and I blame the colonists. Africa and much of the formerly colonized third world is literally 500+ years behind in their social, economic, and political development. Africa didn't step in and intercede when Europe was massacring its minority populations and chasing out the moors and burning the jews and crucifying the christians and, and, and, and, the list could go on for hours but i think you get the picture. We need to (to a certain extent) allow these nations to develop and flourish on their own without our unsolicited "help" or "advise" or "guidance."
i'm a total treky (is anyone surprised) and in all of the star trek shows and movies they speak of the Prime Directive that dictates that there can be no interference with the internal development of [third world] civilizations, consistent with the historical real world concept of Westphalian sovereignty (look up the Westphalian Treaty of 1648). Let them devise their own democracy and not just copy from us. Think of it on a smaller scale... would you allow your children to copy the work of an older sibling or older classmate and not actually do the work themselves? Would that actually teach them the valuable lessons of that course? Failure is part of growth and learning from others' mistakes is one thing but learning from your own is a much more powerful lesson. The West is attempting to parent Africa and the Middle East. We need to leave them alone until they are ready to seek out our expertise. Arab cultures were once the most advanced in the world. Arab scientists, philosophers, astronomers and mathematicians were by far more brilliant and progressed than their European counterparts. What happened? Colonialism.
This is why the west (not just the USA) is despised. Because we are still colonists. We colonize the world with our Britney Spears, our Coca Cola, our PlayBoy and our Ford Trucks. We hoard the riches of the world and rob from the very men and women that literally die so that we can wear that pretty diamond ring or drive that fancy car. Our way of life is elitist and arrogant and does not truly reflect the ideals of a "christian" nation. we chant "never again" here in the USA but yet we go and in search of our enemy decimate a nation or two and kill off a generation. how is that benevolent christianity? we're hypocrites. we could learn a lesson or two from nelson mandela.
No one really wants hand outs. people want to feel valued and as if they have earned their place in this world and have worked hard to get there. We (most greedy enterprises that we patronize) are literally raping the world and this precious earth of what is good and beautiful and all to fill our Neighborhood Wal-Mart. We are a nation of Consumers. What are we consuming? Is it wants or needs? I'm not innocent I'm not perfect. I recognize that. This is what radicalism hates in us. we are not just the infidel because we are christian but because we have become idolaters and worshipers of false gods. we have put our big homes and hollywood celebrities before god and before true and pure humanity. how can i blame a man for pointing out my greatest flaw? I don't hate or despise my enemy for being revolted by my greed. I think that we as americans need to take a long hard look at our value system and at who we have become. I would much rather prefer to seek to understand my enemy so that I can better understand his perspective of me. that I might change and that I might pray for him. I pray that he might have reason to turn to something greater than destroying another man. I pray that I will have the ability to change my ways. I pray that I will have the capacity see and admit my faults. I pray that I will have the humility and the strength to allow him to fail and the wisdom to know when & how I should lift him up and teach him.
I leave you with one final though and I want you to think of the least among you "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." are we, as americans, living the golden rule in all that we do? are our leaders exemplifying this principle of our christian faith? are we being fair and just and right to the rest of the world? are we truly treating other nations and societies and faiths and ethnicities and minorities as we would like to be treated?