I have been accused of being anti-American and a
traitor because of my opinions expressed on television opinion
shows about the responsibility America has to the world and to
itself to reevaluate its foreign policy. Many people do not
understand the difference between blaming American foreign
policy for the terrorist attacks in September, and taking some
responsibility for creating a world that can breed such
cowardly, desperate acts.
To make the distinction between blame and responsibility
clearer, I have chosen an analogy that is easier to imagine.
Suppose you are walking through a city park, in a
"bad" part of town at night and get mugged. It is not
your fault you got mugged. In fact, it is 100% the fault of the
person who mugged you. Nonetheless, the next time you need to
get home late at night you might think of safer ways to get
home, including a
taxi or another route.
Understanding that walking through the park in the middle of
the night wasn’t the smartest thing to do would prove you
learned something. Likewise, we must understand that there are
many desperate, poverty-stricken people with nothing to lose and
who do not see themselves as terrorists, but as people who are
fighting for their country, God and families. Accepting the fact
that these people are not madmen in their own minds, but human beings with real
purpose and rationale for their acts is an important step in
understanding that we can do something to prevent the types of
act that occurred on September 11.
As long as we label them madmen and terrorist, we will
continue to see this problem in black and white, and we will
fail to ever reach a solution. We do not have to view the
acceptance for some responsibility in the worlds’ problems and
blaming our country for the deeds of a few terrorists as the
same thing. It is time to take some responsibility for the
world's troubles and help come up with some real solutions.
The United States of America, the greatest country in the
world in many aspects, has expanded its isolationist politics to
a dangerous level. In the past two years, we have been unwilling
to even discuss issues that concern the world. ABM Treaty,
Kyoto, Durban, are just a few of the names that are associated
with our continuing isolationist politics. Now, the latest in
our maverick style foreign policy is "if you do not help
us, we’ll do it alone." We are constantly refusing to sit
at the table of the world and hear the concerns of our global
neighbors. You can debate point by point these concerns as
Hannity tried to do on his "praise more bombs" radio
show, but the rest of the world sees a country that only cares
In many of the countries that are incubators for terrorism,
there is a vast discrepancy of wealth between them and the
United States. Some of the tensions that arise from this fact
may well be merely envy and disdain, but we must look deeper to
see if there are other reasons for this hate for our country
that is brewing in the poorest corners of the world. In many
countries that harbor or train terrorists, the poverty is
overwhelming. The life style of people in the Mideast differs
drastically from that of ours. Sure there are pockets of riches
in the area, but less than a quarter of the people living in the
Mideast can read and write, less than 20% have phone lines and
less than 10% have TV’s.
In our country, even the poorest families own two or three
televisions. Even in most of our allies’ countries that boast
of a higher literacy rate than the U.S. there are less than 50%
of the household have television and phone lines. Great Britain,
our closest ally, with an almost 100% literacy rate, can only
claim half of its population owning televisions and slightly
higher than that have telephone lines. These statistics show the
vast discrepancy between the wealth we enjoy in this country and
the poverty that the rest of the world endures.
It is hard not to take our wealth in America for granted.
Since WWII we controlled over 50% of the entire wealth in the
world and our leaders have done everything they could to
increase that percentage. Is this an inherently evil goal? I
would say not, but the rest of the world sees this incessant
need for more and more, as selfish and egocentric at the least,
and terrorism at its worst.
How can capitalism possibly be associated with terrorism? It
isn’t, unless the greed fostered by America’s biggest
companies inhibit other countries to be independent and
self-sufficient which we have seen in Central American, South
America, and Southeast Asia. Our government must begin to foster
a global economy or the ills of the world will soon be visiting
our own doors. I do believe in the ability of capitalism to
increase the riches of the world. There is a benefit to the
entire world when we create, invent, and spread our wealth, but
we must take into account the inherent greed that is associated
with capitalism and create more regulations on big businesses.
The first step to overcoming this problem is admitting that
there is a problem, and it appears we do not have an
administration that is willing to take that very courageous first step.
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