Friday, March 18, 2011

Flexing our muscles?

U.S. ships have been deployed to Libya. Historically, this is a sign of intimidation. Hopefully, it doesn't escalate beyond that. To say that the U.S. Military is overstretched, is an understatement. I always hope for peace, and when that is not possible--which, it always is in my opinion-- but when the Military, U.N. et cetera, choose other options, I think of what is the best possible outcome of this horrible quandary. My advice: avoid the politics within Libya and other countries in which, 1. We do not understand the culture; 2. We do not speak the languages of the majority and minority; 3. We do not have a well-planned entry and several exit strategies.

People often say that politics is played. Perhaps, in certain countries, it is but The Middle East is one of the most culturally and politically complex regions in the world. I would find it hard to believe that anyone--even the native-born and raised individuals--could accurately predict what the outcome will be once there is foreign intervention. The exiles have been away from their country for too long to remember and understand their own culture, from a contemporary perspective, and also have not experienced the hardships that the protesters have endured. 

Democracy to other countries is probably not the same definition of democracy that Westerners are familiar with. Traditions and tribal and other loyalties will somehow have to be accounted for and integrated into their form of democracy. Would we want the responsibility of supporting their interpretation of democracy? Surely, it will be translated to conform to their culture and not ours.

Translation is another problem. Arabic is a hard language and I think that it would benefit the translators if they had a knowledge of the Quran. Relgion is a large part of the cultures in The Middle East and I believe that in order to have a working knowledge of the language, it would also benefit to know the religion, not practice it, but understand it in terms to anticipate the ideology. The basis of so much rests in Islam and being a devout reader of the Quran. The Middle East has a lot of diversity. It is not only composed of Arabs and Muslims. I hope that I do not sound like a reductionist by proposing the religion, but I do believe it is very important in their politics. I do not believe they hold the same separation of religion and country as some Western countries do.

Since it appears that we are headed into Libya, have we decided how we will exit? For ships and planes, it is simple, but I still don't understand the purpose of showing U.S. Military might. I don't understand the politics of the Middle East. I will not pretend that I do. I hope that there is a diplomatic solution to the problem and that everyone draft resolutions and whatever else they believe they need to better their country.     

No comments:

Post a Comment