May 25, 2004
Like most Americans I believe this is a good country, and is a lot better place to live than many other places. We are not perfect, and terrible things do happen, but we do have rules and laws to limit those unwanted events.
What makes our country so much different in my opinion is that this country was born out of frustration, pain, fear, and anger. It was built by the heart and souls of people that were not happy with where they were, and had enough faith and courage to believe they could find happiness in a new world. Because of the passion of these people and the pain they went through we now have an amazing country with what has proved to be a rather stable and dominant force in eyes of the world.
America has had men and women readily willing to give their lives to protect the freedoms that their predecessors created. We are like a sleeping giant when someone tries to take what we hold dear, much like in Pearl Harbor. Because of this there is an amazing feeling of pride that most of us share. This feeling is much like a religion in a way. We feel like we are saved from the worlds of other countries where women are oppressed, torture is common, and people don't have liberties and freedom. And much like religion we wish to spread our "way" of thinking, and share our democracy so that others can live in a free world and can pursue their individual happiness.
Unfortunately conversions of someone's lifestyles and beliefs is much like conversion of one's religions and the struggle is much the same often times resulting in violence in order to show them the path to righteousness. More people have been converted by the use of destruction and colonization than by peaceful changing of their minds.
Another side of America's personality is this overwhelming feeling that we are the "Big Brother" of the world and it is our job to take care of it. Maybe in part believing nobody else will, or that nobody else can. Or it could be as simple as political or financial reasons, which are proving to be more of the reason in recent years. No matter the reason on some levels we feel a moral obligation to helping the world. In all of our good intentions though each time; in recent decades, that we attempt this we cause ourselves more problems than we solve.
By way of having to choose sides we automatically alienate one population of people in a 2 sided conflict. We pick a political regime that we feel is the better one and we back them. The question is: who are we to choose? Well we are America and we feel we always know best. Obviously this is not always true.
So, if this school of thought has brought us nothing but troubles then what do we do? For example the aiding of Israel has probably been the single most influential political position America has made since WWII. By choosing the side of these people we alienated and offended others in the region.
I often wonder if Israel would have been left to fall to the rest of the Middle East if there would have never been such thing as a terrorist organization. It is our constant meddling in other countries affairs that have made us so hated among other cultures. Honestly I just don't feel we understand people in the Middle East, and I don't believe they understand us.
On the other hand I ponder what would happen if we would not interfere any longer. What if we suddenly changed our foreign policies and proclaimed to the world that they can take care of their own problems. They can express their own political agendas and we will not pass judgment.
Would this now be morally wrong? Do we have an obligation of some sort to help, or should we just stand back and watch while countless people die under dictatorships, people live without basic rights, and the only way to make change is to overthrow the leaders?
In some ways America is much like an adult at a public playground with their kids. They look over and see that a fight has broken out between children that they have never seen before, and it seems there is nobody else around to stop it. As responsible adults we have to pose the question to ourselves and in the end determine if we should interfere because it seems morally right, or if we should just stay out of it because it is not our problem. The dilemma of America is much the same question only on a greater scale.
The biggest obstacle we have in installing our way of thinking in a country like Iraq is that the struggle for change has not come from within the country. It is not the Iraqi people deciding that they need change, and then coming up with a plan on how to do it. It is us giving them a template of what we used, and saying "trust us it will work". The majority of the people in the country do not want a system like ours.
We feel religion is separate from government, theirs is more intertwined. We are free to practice whatever religion we wish until it crosses over governmental laws, their religion is the law. We just have two distinct differences in the way we feel governments should be run, and with the majority of their people being on the side of religious rule our system may fizzle away after a short time of being installed.
I wonder if Iraq should just divide up into the dominant religious groups and let them each rule themselves, or will one central government work. I am very skeptical that after the first elections are held, the government will hold any resemblance to the people that were put together in the interim government, or that their democracy will be anything like ours after a couple years running.
I am not a journalist, a politician, or member of the government in any way. I am just an average American that is tired of being force fed the government terd shakes all my life and then being told they taste good. There is a good chance I will offend a lot of people, but that is better than this watered down, pathetic way of conducting life known as political correctness. I just hope this gives people a different way of looking at things, and maybe one day help to put an end to the blinders that people put over our eyes.