Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Impassable gorge? Blame amnesia...

Personal Note: As this is my first blog entry, I would like to thank The Indigent Blogger for the opportunity to post on this fine blog.

Representative government is without a doubt, the very best governing device man has created. I might personally add the concepts of natural rights-as outlined in the first paragraph of the American Declaration of Independence-is the proper energy for self-governance. But as that decays in our very own system and nihilism runs rampant in Western society, the gap between the West and Middle Eastern civilizations continues to impede political change.

Western civilization values life in a myriad of ways. First, there are those who simply desire comfort and a life devoid of struggle. A term I use to describe this and hope to coin is the "perverted ascension of dopamine." There are those who value life from a more religious perspective... man has no authority over life and death. Only the divine may be the arbiter. Regardless of which category here, or unwritten one belongs to, life has a certain value that cannot be bartered with.

This cannot be said for the radicals currently engaging many fronts in Southern Asia. This story in particular (via AndrewSullivan.com) is the blaring example of the cultural clash that is inevitable:

SHIKMA PRISON, Israel (AP) - A badly burned Palestinian woman
was alternately defiant and tearful Monday after Israeli soldiers caught her
trying to enter Israel with 22 pounds of explosives hidden on her body.

The woman, who suffered serious burns on her hands, feet and
neck in a kitchen explosion five months ago, had been granted permission to
cross into Israel from the Gaza Strip for medical treatment when she raised the
suspicion of soldiers at the Erez checkpoint.

Video released by the military showed 21-year-old Wafa al-Biss
taking off articles of clothing on the orders of soldiers searching for
explosives, and rubbing her disfigured neck with her burned hands and screaming.

The military said she tried to blow up the explosives Monday but
failed and was not injured.
The story goes on to add interesting tidbits. First, she claimed to have wanted to do this. Secondly, she then asserts that it was planted on her "without her knowledge." Either way, this explains the entrenched psyche and philosophy of a minority, but significant portion of Muslims. Either way, be it her individual action or an involuntary plant (such as this), there are those whose sole purpose is to murder anyone who does not share the same standards as fundamental Islam.

Most reading this will feel insulted... all know this and many claim this is exactly why geopolitical change is necessary in the Middle East. Enter Secretary Rice. She recently spoke at the American Univerity in Cairo about the need for change in the Middle East. The changes spoken are presented merely as political, but they must bleed in the cultural fabric of the said region. This push for the liberalization of Middle Eastern doctrine is vital to the success of the War on Terror. On this noble push, everything is hinging.

But while the goals of this administration are indeed noble, unfortunately results have nothing to do with just cause. America's biggest obstacle is the need to reconcile Islam and the self-evident rights of man. This problem of representative government and its implementation into Islamic societies can only be remedied through a political and social philosophy that is religion neutral yet at the same time can be religiously inspired. This brings this post back to the case laid out in the DoI.

Thomas Jefferson, a Deist, tested and proved how to reconcile many reiligious sects with natural rights of man. Natural rights, "the laws of nature and nature's God" universalize basic rights while allowing one to adhere to individual religious persuasion. This would allow Muslims to continue to reject nihilism, but simultaneously reject fundamentalist Islam that would deny so many their basic human rights. America's biggest problem is amnesia... our own forgetfulness.

American, and more particularly all of Western civilization, has far too long flirted with this dangerous belief in nothing. In the process, our most valued treasure, freedom, cannot even be properly explained to those we wish to bring into the 21st century (both for our own security and their own liberation). America has forgotten its very own values that have united it for so very long and made it so very free. Nothing can better explain our failure to present what freedom is to those who need it the most.


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