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From Beirut to the Beltway. Politics and more.
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My concern, fubar, is that people's "acceptance" has less to do with perceived expertise, and more to do with something else, and I don't necessarily mean you here. I can have strong opinions about the enemy, and that is generally accepted. But sticking up for ideas that shape my life as an American, and that affect the world in which my kids are growing up, is frowned upon. I a firm believer in people writing about what they know. But knowledge evolves, and so does one's world view, depending on the environment. Part of the reason I don't blog as much was caused by this evolution from a bitter person saddled with memories, who received cheers every time he vented against what drove him out of his land of birth, into a more adjusted (and busy) person with views being re-shaped by his adopted home. This blog was always intended to be a reflection of the journey from Beirut to the Beltway. Somewhere along the way, it morphed into something else. I don't expect the media to deny ideological motivations or whitewash extremism to be politically correct. But why should we lower our standards when it comes to one religion, ethnicity, or skin color? Every now and then, people need to be reminded of their humanity. And that applies to everyone, everywhere. And the post is a cry for sanity in this world of self-appointed experts with too much time on their hand, and little thought for the repercussions of their words.
Fubar. Good to see you, and read you. You, as well as Old hand, have completely misunderstood the post. I am not reducing the bombers into something other than cold blooded terrorists. There was no attempt to trivialize their transformation. Yes, I know better for many reasons. But you of all people Fubar should know better than to think I would do that. Re-read what I wrote. The media is doing the American public a huge disservice by not weighing the terms they use (and this applies to other stories). The whole point of the post was not to fall victim to the same reductionist logic that empowers criminals. To be better human beings. To develop some sensitivity in the age of citizen journalism. What use am I if I don't use the very things that make me "different" from other Americans, to argue for better communications between us and "them", so we don't cultivate resentment? For god's sake, we do this in the workplace, why can't we do it when we talk about other people from different creeds? This is not a denial of facts about terrorism. Just read my latest post. Many of my readers don't like it when I blog on American issues. I think there are expectations there that are unfair.
My dear OldHand, you require people to intervene to express outrage, and you say there aren't enough "uncles". These people do exist. In Iraq and elsewhere. But the issue is information-related. The prevalent presumption is that there is a side that embraces the violence of wayward nephews who grew up in an individualistic society, where they had the freedom of choice. They made the wrong choice, and they deserve to be be punished. Did they tap into mass ignorance, or presumed mass silence from another land? Are we saying that Iraqis enjoy being blown up to pieces, because they don't have screaming uncles? I am not so sure. I hear those screams every day because I, as an American with interest in that region, read about their struggle, which is not that different from the struggle of those Bostonians who lost loved ones. This should be a time for empathy, not collective finger-pointing.
AK is now following The Typepad Team
Mar 15, 2010