As I read through these stories, I am again struck by the feeling of total helplessness.
I ask myself : How is it that the suicide bombers and gunman of the Sunnis (Saddam's 'sect' - for lack of a better word - of Islam) will be rewarded by Allah in the afterlife for killing the 'unbelievers' (i think the Shiites actually do believe in Allah)? I also ask myself: doesn't this now make the Shiites who were killed during a holy prayer ritual martyrs? Won't they also now be rewarded by Allah in the after life?
To my western mind this is a cunundrum (sp?).
So i become more confused than i already was about the Middle Eastern turmoil. I ask myself: what do i (or any of us) really know about these cultures in turmoil? Well I've come up with a few ideas:
1. Faith is probably the most powerful thing these people have going for them.
2. I have to assume that the majority of Middle Eastern people really do want the same things people everywhere want (since most of them are not systematically killing each other for Allah or spite or any other reason).
3. Even if this notion in #2 is totally false, I have come to understand that some of the people are willing to kill and die for ideals they believe in (which, by the way, I think is very noble - not usually the wisest path, but noble nonetheless).
The main disconnect for me is that i am not really sure what they believe in. I am also not really sure that they are sure what they believe in. I am also very confused as to why the majority of the people who seem to be more interested in having food, shelter, purposeful life pursuits, etc. could even allow this type of behavior in their culture. I am also skeptical that ANYONE in a western culture would actually be able to understand it without a half of a life-time of study and immersion.
So, as far as i can see (unfortunately, all i have to go on is what the media and my government tell me), the Middle Eastern cultures which are in turmoil are based on two main principles: Faith and protecting that faith by violent, suicidal, desparate acts.
As far as I know our Western Culture is also based on two main principles: peace and prosperity.
(which, as a side note, is why I am 100% frustrated with our political leadership, including the Senate, Cheney, Blair, Bush, UN & co. AND also 100% frustrated in our corporate leadership, including OPEC, SEC, Chrysler/Ford/General Motors, the EU, MBNA, Citicorp, Wall Street, Pfizer, Hollywood, comcast, clear channel, etc, etc.)
Now I am totally confused because I can't see why a culture that believes in peace and prosperity would waste its precious resources, lives, and time trying to get in between the goings-on of a culture that believes in desparate acts of faith.
At first I was thinking, well it's possible that we could probably stop the Middle Eastern Turmoil from coming over to our soil, since i really didn't appreciate them knocking down our buildings which resulted in the untimely deaths of our people (by the way, how many CEOs, CFOs & COOs were in the trade center when it went down?). Although, I am not convinced that we have made any real progress in securing our country by meddling in the affairs of others. In fact, I am worried by articles that tell me of a college student who set out to test the new security measures and beat many of them.
I want to believe that we are secure and prosperous in our country, and I am dismayed to find out that despite our best efforts, it is simply not true. I am not convinced that there ever was order in Iraq / Iran and I am pretty sure that a Western Coaliton will not be able to bring peace there (ex. Haiti). AS a matter of fact, we can't even propagate peace in Ireland (which is a couple of christian groups who live their lives around desparate defense of faith - or is it just revenge?)!
I remain unconvinced that the capture of Saddam and the placement of a democracy in Iraq is the solution to our security here at home. Did you see the guy who ran his SUV into the Hawaiian (sp?) airport? HOW IN THE HELL CAN THIS HAPPEN IN AMERICA ??
I could go on and on and on and on...
There will be more bad guys, guys.
Please help me get the word out to bring our troops home for the DEFENSE and PROTECTION of AMERICA.
Please help me remind people that the real enemies of peace and prosperity are war mongering and monopolization, violence and price fixing, hunger and poverty, and as some would say,
death & taxes :)
and one final peace of rhetoric:
Stop beating the drums of war (destroy those damn things) and recommit to building the bridges to prosperity,