Cultural Melt Down

How do I begin? I’m sitting here thinking of a way to write about the current even I have not mentioned during the many months I have been watching it in the media. I have been trying to figure out what to say despite the paranoid rhetoric that has been posted online since Obama came into the picture. It is hard to describe the experience for the past year I have had with a culture I had no education on.

For all of my life, I have studied both modern and ancient Egypt. I think it is important to understand history for many reasons. This way we know not to make the same mistakes our ancestors made. The other reason is quite personal. I thought Cleopatra was a fictional character up until my Sophomore year in high school. By the time I was a Senior in high school, I realized how fragmented our knowledge is of the Middle East. I think I had about five or six leaders/kings/queens on my history paper about Egypt. In fact, I spent several years studying Nefertiti and I still cannot write a thing about her. Of course, her husband caused quite a stir and they were virtually removed from history altogether.

As I grew up, I have seen the conflicts that have happened in other areas of the Middle East. I remember Desert Storm like it was yesterday. I remember all the footage that was played on the news. I remember two teachers who were there and told their students some of what they saw. I remember what the pastor said to the teen group I was in the day Desert Storm began. Pray for the people of the Middle East. Do not be judgmental of the citizens because they are in fear of their leader and they are more frightened then we are because they live there. This stuck with me for the rest of my life and has helped me ignore the people who do not know jack or who have clearly forgotten.

I remember 9/11 like it was yesterday. It was a surreal time because I had been to New York and took a picture of the WTC one year to the day before the tragic event. I never once felt infuriated about anything or anyone; I was just stunned. I wondered what was going to happen next and felt concern for anyone who looked Arabic or wore a turban.

Years later, I met someone from Iraq. Even though I had two courses in college teaching me how to communicate with various cultures, the classes left out a huge chunk of communicating with Arabs. Their culture is so rich and full of history. Their culture is similar to ours, but when they say welcome they mean it. Another difference I noticed about Arabs is they are not the type of people who would get into someone’s face and tell them to fuck off. They are also easy to manipulate and they are really not that aware of scams here. Maybe that would explain why we do not really talk to anyone here in America. We do not trust a soul here.

Needless to say, I fell deeply in love with Iraqi culture. For starters, I would rather date an Arab than American man. The men here play games and do not want a relationship. I think the last time I dated anyone was back in high school. It’s just that bad. I noticed that when a man says he wants a break (or doesn’t talk to you anymore), they are instantly engaged or married to someone else. They just want a piece of ass. With Arabs, it is the same. Only, when they say they want a break it’s temporary or they will tell what their intentions are. I think it is a nice change because you know what is going on.

In addition to being cleaner than your average American, their etiquette is warmer than ours. When you enter the home of an Arab, they are handing you food or drinks. It’s probably one of the sweetest gestures, however I’m not always hungry or thirsty.

Their food is incredibly awesome. I love the deserts; they are probably the sweetest thing you can ever imagine. I love the food. There was one dish I had that I wish I knew the name of. It tasted similar to Chinese food, but it was a little tangy. It makes me want to learn Arabic so I can learn what the heck that was I ate.

No matter what country or culture, there is something despicable going on. Sometimes I wonder why there are disgusting people out there who live to destroy beauty. I don’t know what kind of evil is festering, but it keeps returning time and time again.

I watched this movie called Control Room. It is a documentary about Al Jazeera. In the beginning of the movie, President Bush was finishing off daddy Bush’s work. He was telling another country that he is not a ruler of to hand over Saddam Hussein. I recall that Hussein had turned into someone with agoraphobia and he looked like he needed to be checked into a mental hospital. This made me think. What if someone from another country, like say Russia, came and told us to hand over our president or else. Who on earth does that? What do you think would happen if some leader from another country did that?

I have been watching ISIS/ISIL for a few months. It may be full of educated people like doctors, but they look like a bunch of childish thugs in the videos they have been releasing. In the first video I watched, people were blowing stuff up. Each time they did this, they hysterically said, Allah is good. I began to compare them with the Blue Meanies in Yellow Submarine. Then I saw the footage of the drive by on the highway. If something like that happened here, especially Idaho, people would have their weapons ready to fire back. Yes, people have guns in their cars here. After their propaganda, ISIL appears to be a bunch of thugs.

Even more so when they are recruiting people. As I mentioned above, Arabs are easy to manipulate. Think about this, the reading level is not as high. When you take a culture that has been through a ton and can’t read, someone can easily go in an manipulate others. People who do not have a high education can be persuaded. It is similar to taking a child and teaching them to be hateful. People who have a negative opinion and who have had a hard life can easily be persuaded as well. How do you think cults are created?

Many reasons contributed to the success of ISIL. One is the fact that the authorities are weak. If you compare our country with Iraq, you notice that there is corruption between the two. The main difference is that law enforcement is not very strong. In fact, ISIL was killing them inhumanely. If the authorities are unable to help their community, they certainly cannot keep themselves safe. They murdered the law enforcement and anyone involved in the military.

The one thing I noticed was that we forgot to teach them to fight back. I think that we went in and made a mess. We sent people over who clearly should not have been in the military. These people made a mess out of everything by desecrating graves and going to into villages and killing innocent people. The drones are unforgivable. There are numerous reports of drones killing people who have nothing to do with terrorism. As usual, we blew up the wrong targets. We are going into another country to tell them what to do when we have a mess at home that we need to figure out how to fix. In a way, I can see a double standard and that we are antagonizing them.

I was watching the video that was showing the planes that ISIL stole. People are talking about how they are terrorists and how they are a threat to our country. It is my opinion it is antagonism and not terrorism. They murdered a ton of their own people and then they behead a couple of American journalists. Two Americans. Then they broadcast their videos to show what they did. They are committing childish and cowardly acts just to get a rise out of everyone.

I wonder how they think they can accomplish carrying out any acts here. When I think about it, America is full of paranoid, medicated citizens up to our eyeballs with various weapons. People here are trigger happy. Some have even had the brass to shoot “Arabs” when the people they shot were really Hindu. What in the hell did Hindus ever do to us? The police are now equipped with a huge artillery and most of them are trigger happy.

What do I think of Obama’s idea about the air strikes? I think it was something we should have done. I think it is a plan that was a little too late. Will it work? It might. I think that it is a way to teach them how to fight for themselves. The lesson we need to learn is that we are not the great dictators of other countries and we need to stop being the babysitter or cranky, nosey neighbor.

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