One of the great guiding principles in the founding of the democratic society we live in today, is that a sufficiently educated populace is capable of governing itself.
Education for everyone was deemed essential by Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Lee and others, because only with knowledge can tyranny be overcome. In the 18th century, that "tyranny" was British rule in the New World.
Osama bin Laden is, by all accounts, a highly educated man. A man who views the world through a bias set by his personal religious beliefs. This does not make him a "madman" or an "evil" man, it makes him a man who sees us differently than we see ourselves. It makes him a man that most of us, have no context within which to understand his actions.
a CAUTIONARY Note here:
I do not condone or in any way agree with Osama bin Laden's lack of tolerance for other people. In fact I find him reprehensible beyond any society's ability to tolerate. He does deserve to be held accountable for his actions, because he has not taken any action without full understanding of the consequences for his "enemies" and has no respect for anyone's rights beyond the strict interpretation of Islam.
Making use of the vast amount of information now available to me through all media, I have absorbed the pros, cons, opinions, analysis and vitriolic statements from all sides ...and have formed my own "educated" opinion. The process has been long and the results are complex in their derivation. I am not sure that I can provide a direct logical line of reasoning for any of my thoughts.
- Islam is not a "religion" like Catholicism. It is not being a Baptist, or a good member of The Church of Christ. Islam is a life encompassing religious based philosophy that dictates every action, reaction, decision and point of moral tolerance, in the life of those who adhere to it.
- Osama's actions are about Islam.
- Bush's (our) reaction is about retribution.
- Bush's (our) further actions are about energy.
- Bush's (our) actions beyond Afghanistan are about fear.
- Bush's (our) actions toward Saddam are about energy.
- We have become, through the public actions of our leaders, the very tyrant we have been accused of being.
- An attack on Saddam is NOT an attack on Osama ...in fact it may be just what Osama wants! Iraq's socialist dictatorship is not the Islam he supports, and he only fights us instead of Saddam because he perceives us as the larger threat. He fought the Russians in Afghanistan for the same reason; their incursion into that country represented a large threat to Islam.
- Osama is intelligent enough to know how to use his enemies against one another.
- A war against Iraq is a "no win" situation and has no basis in any tolerant morality. Perhaps we should be recruiting Saddam to use his armies and his non-existent "weapons of mass destruction" to help us quell the threat to the world, represented by Osama.
- Bush's (our) actions in the Middle East, are about Islam.
The first settlers
, and many immigrants
thereafter, "fled to" or were "sent to" the New World because they created unrest where they were by not adhering to the prevailing religious views. We, as a people, believe in the separation of Church and State
. Our country, our freedoms, our way of life
is predicated on the "right" of every person to make his own choices regarding God. We are rightly proud of this distinction in our culture ...although we often go overboard with it
... but it is extremely naive of us to believe for one minute that what is right for us, is right for everyone else ...that's what we fought against to begin with, wasn't it?
"We fight to defend our way of life".
Just because we consider religion to be a non-government issue, does not mean that anyone else in the world does. The New World is in fact one of, if not the first place where such an arrangement was even considered, much less implemented.
Is it right for everyone? Our immigration figures would suggest it is part of a pretty attractive package.
Is it right for us to impose it upon others? Is it right for us to pollute another culture by ignoring the differences in our systems? or refusing to consider that our way of life might not be what everyone else wants? Have we in fact, attacked Islam in ignorance?
This saber rattling against Saddam will go bad for us. Many will die ...including some of us. This may be the moment it all spins out of control...
I don't know what to do.
I was safer in my ignorance.
- An attack against Saddam is an attack against a socialist dictator who rules his people with fear and military power.
- An attack against Iraq is an attack against Islam.
- Osama does not care whether we understand him or not. He fights for Islam. He will bring that battle to our streets if we continue our aggression against Islam.
If I understand this...
If I have enough information to deduce and reason the sense of this ...the non-sense of this...
How am I to believe that our leaders remain ignorant to what they are really doing?
They cannot possibly be that right ...and righteousness is so unbecoming.
When will we be asked to disarm?
And who will do the asking?