The Devil You Know

Mr. Douthat:

History should have taught us that:

  1. The Middle East has been at war since the beginning of time and that this is a way of life for these people.  They do not want western democracy even though we are hell bent on driving it down their throats regardless of their wants.
  2. Our approach to world politics is typically European in that we tell the world what is best for it.  We don’t consider or account for cultural differences.  We are always right every time; just ask us we’ll tell you all about it.
  3. They don’t want our intervention; they don’t want our democracy; they don’t want our opinion; they don’t want anything western – American or European.  They want to be left alone.  These are some very smart and perceptive people.  They realize that Westernization is NOT for them because of the examples we provide and our way of life, godless in their eyes, and the fact that our way is failing.  If you need other examples I can provide them.
  4. We are a hypocritical society.  We insist that the world conform to our ideals, and we allow our own people to starve.  We promote a class system at home and insist that the world abolish apartheid and racism.  We have a massive welfare system that chokes our finances, and insist that the world work to total employment but at our set minimum wage.  We are all hypocrites in their eyes.  I happen to agree.  If we cannot run our own country, why would they look to us for guidance?
  5. Our economic system is based on class and greed.  If you have, you want more for yourself.  If you are poor, you get to blame those that are rich.  If you are rich you view the poor as undeserving, if you are poor the rich are avaricious.
  6. Our religious freedom is a joke.  We profess to be accepting of all religious groups yet when a fundamentalist faction attacks the Great Satan, we immediately vilify the entire religion: all Muslims are terrorists and ignore that there are millions of Muslims that are peaceful God loving people.


My point is this sir: Should we not consider ourselves as a very poor example for the rest of the world to follow.  I agree that America for me is the best possible place to live but I think we should concentrate on fixing our own problems and leave the Middle East to their own devices.  Sure we owe alliance to Israel and a few other countries; but should we not ask what help they need rather than deploying troops to clean up problems that were not problems to them?  Did we really need to invade Iran and Afghanistan to remove the Taliban?  Do they really want democracy after centuries of Sheikdom’s and despotic rule?  Do we even know what democracy means to them?


What they see as American democracy is all the bad things carefully selected and spun to fit the needs of the ruler’s governments.  The problems that they see in the US are propagandized into monumental and insurmountable issues.  They see a very jaded side of America from their governments.  Obviously these governments don’t want to loose their control, so why wouldn’t they distort the truth.


What grants us the right to force our beliefs on someone else?  Don’t we then become terrorists in their eyes?  “Look not for the splinter in your neighbor’s eye neglecting the beam in your own.”