Thursday, June 5, 2008

On America...

I read the blog of another fellow American ex-pat here from Boston that lives in Dubai. When you’re so far away from home, reading what you feel or witness from someone you don’t even know gives you some comfort in feeling that your views are justified (even if only validated by a fellow infidel).

So I was doing some catch-up reading today on his blog (check it out, he’s well-written and gives a funny, familiar perspective about life here [or “there”, in Dubai]

I was turned on to this story, and it’s just as everything else here, I feel such a need to defend America and what we think/know/are told on the one hand, and on the other, the urge is just to shrug and sigh and move on with my day.

In America, around the card table on a Friday night, or over a beer at a campsite, these issues come up. Politics is one of my favorite topics (which makes me think of the book about Nixon and Kissinger I am reading and should discuss, but I digress...) and I am usually eager to battle it out with a peer or two. But here, I find few peers.

In the textbook for a law class I am taking, it gives a fairly biased view of why Islamic law is an inherently bad policy (seems obvious that American legal scholars would be biased fans of Democracy), and I have to think that they really don’t know WHY Muslims choose to follow Shariia law and why it DOES (sort of) work here (the Middle East). We’re a completely different culture and not just in the religions and customs sense… our brains are washed differently… you add that up over several thousand years and it’s impossible to think that with genetic memory like that, any of us would be willing to accept such different morals forced upon us. I made a decision not to be friends with some Lebanese women here because my moral conscience told me that hating people based simply on their religious choice is wrong (On Israel: "They are our enemy!" Me: "Why?" Mieriah: "They are Jewish!"), and I think that way because of where I was born and raised.

There are so many things I think “wrong” with this editorial's perception of Obama, Hillary, and McCain, and with America and its ideals and goals in general. But who am I talking to if I dissect such an article? Those who would agree with me anyway? Those who’s minds I couldn't change one way or the other? Those who couldn't care less, and won’t lose any sleep over it anyway? So what’s the point? I read it and I shake my head at various parts in disagreement. I want to pull up Google and fact-check the crap out of this piece. And then afterwards, as I look out my window and see the construction workers balancing on the rails of the scaffolding with no harnesses, six stories up, I realize that I am not at home. There is nothing but a sea of deaf ears for my frustrations to fall on here. (And I then I thank God I was born an American.)

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