Originally Posted by torontomichael
Crusades? Lets talk facts.I find it laughable that Middle Eastern residents use the "crusades" as reason to grudge the West.And here you are, in 2007, saying I should accept this bizarre,ancient grudge with understanding? So you think I had better accept as valid the grudges of morons based on a war which ended 800 years ago? No way.We won't go forward accepting & validating such long-standing transgressions. In fact the West has gone forward BECAUSE we aren't shackled by passing the hatred of ancient wrongs from one generation to the next (a trait all too evident elsewhere in the Middle east). Applying their unforgiving reasoning, I could justify the West's anger towards the Middle east for 9/11 for the NEXT 800 years! Final note on the Middle East and specifically the "crusades" rant which is Bin Ladens' song (as it is yours too judging by your post). AFTER the crusades were long over, it was in fact the Islamic powers that invaded Europe, and on numerous occassions, as far west as Vienna,Austria (or does that qualify as "irrelevant" in your mind?). European history 1200-1550 clearly shows that it was the Europeans who were "invaded" by islamists. So why is it "justifiable" for the Middle east to use the crusades as reason to feel wronged yet Europeans cannot say boo about their being invaded by the Middle East? So I've 0 interest in anyone yakking about a war now over for 800 years as justification for anything.And "walking the streets of Jerusalem" doesn't...and won't...change a damn thing.
This is such a tainted subject, even for those of us just beginning to think about it, it seems nearly impossible to get a thought across without blatant emotional distortions on all sides. Imagine if you actually lived there!
First, you have put aside the emotional, judgmental views if in fact you are interested in driving to a solution. By that, you have to not accept and subscribe to the logic of those you find on the wrong side of the discussion, personally, but you do have to accept they exist and very likely are not going to change. This limits the number of options to arriving at a solution, but it is essential to finding one. Or, do you think America and Europe will be able to convince the population of the Middle East they have just been wrong on their perceptions for the last 3,000 years because we are right and they are, well, all that is left then is, wrong?
So, using terms like "laughable" or "bizarre" or "grudges of morons" or "long standing transgressions" does little to lend credence to an argument for solving this problem. The issues are what they are, the people are what they are, and we must accept that and that alone as the circumstances describing the problem. No judgment. No taint.
Until you can get past the point of "I am right and you are wrong" as the mindset (barely) hiding behind your statements, I view the contribution to the situation like spraying gasoline on the smoldering embers of this ancient conflict.
In the end the Middle East deserves to be allowed to determine their own fate much as we demand the right to do. As I see things this could be leading to isolation of the area, by removing outside influences and only allowing contact on subjects dealing with commerce, as I have noted in other threads. No aid that involves foreigners living there, no military bases, no immigration to the US or Europe, and no student exchange programs.
One perspective of an association with the West that we constantly ignore, but that rubs many cultures the wrong way, is the worship of the dollar (or Euro, but essentially the same thing) and rate of change that the pursuit of the dollar brings. Change is the economic engine we rely on to power our entire dollar based culture. It is alluring to the younger generation, which other cultures resent, because it glorifies whatever is "new." Unfortunately "new" is too often viewed as disregarding "old" and devaluing traditions. Look at what having dollars has brought to the cities of the ME. Lots of superficial values on billboards, shopping malls, Coke, Pepsi, and so on, all sold with some "new" affront to sensitivities regarding morals and values. In many instances it is viewed with suspicion and horror. Values that have been proven to hold families and cultures together for thousands of years being abandoned for some new, constantly changing system barely a few hundred years old that might just burn out as the last of the oil is pumped from the ME reservoirs under the sand.
If you are going to argue this stuff, you have to try to understand everyone's perspective and accept it as their perspective. Being judgmental going into the discussion is not going to work. Jim