How do people with such access to information and with such magnanimous agendas in the region have such a profound misunderstanding of the Middle East? This region dictates our economy (oil) and therefore our foreign policy. The most important misunderstanding is about the causes of the problems in the Middle East, McCain and many others (liberal adn conservative) say sectarianism and religion, which is just plain ahistorical and wrong. This is important because if we do not know the root causes of the problem we will not be able to solve them.
There are constant, consistent examples of this lack of understanding in this administration (as well as previous ones) - again, liberal and conservative alike. Anyone who voted for the war, for example, must not have lifted a finger to look into what experts - historians, sociologists, anthropologists, political scientists - thought bc they predicted this exact situation.
The most recent example of this ignorance came tonight when I unfortunately heard a snibbit from a McCain speech which really made my stomach turn, leading to one of my own personal battles with the TV. I say unfortunately bc one, this threw off my whole night which was filled with artichokes and Italian Sausage and work work not blog work. I also say unfortunately bc statements like this drive me crazy. Absolutely crazy, and now I feel a little crazy. I know people say stuff like this all the time (read below), but I just can't even bear to hear it anymore. It's just so plain wrong!
McCain was explaining why there is still vioence in Iraq and why the occupation has lasted so long and credited "centuries of sectarian hatred..." AHHHHHHHHH. He might have said tension, but either way his point was that the reason democracy is taking so long to develop in Iraq is because of these ethnic, religious, sectarian hatreds.
(Equally revolting and delusional about his speech was when he said arrogantly and in a condescending manner, "Iraq is a democracy." (Then he went on about the centuries of sectarian hatred.) Read: Arabs BAD, sectarian hatred violent. America GOOD, democracy.)
What a load of #2. My 9th grade students would call McCain out on this totally ahistorical garbage.
Read my post below "There is no Sunni Shii Divide."
The reason this misunderstanding matters so much is that it totally misplaces the root of the conflict and violence in the Middle East. Without understanding the root of the problem we will never be able to solve it. And if we can’t solve it, the US is going to be stuck in the ME forever. (Violence and conflict in the Middle East and Iraq is not bc of sectarianism it is because of matters such as of internal power struggles and the distaste for present and past foreign occupations and western foreign policies for starters...)
For me, I care because I care about the future of the Middle East and places like Iraq. Why should the average American care? Trust me, no matter where you live, the Middle East matters to your life. Our involvement there is probably affecting you in some negative way. (Unless of course you are a millionaire, untouchable by economic fluctuations and a 60$ trip to the beach bc of gas prices. Or, of course you are a billionaire private security contractor or oilman who is actually making money on the war.)
For example, If you care about the economy think about oil prices. Think about the BILLIONS of dollars we are spending in Iraq when health care and public schools stink here. If you care about social justice and helping the poor and oppressed, think about it on a global level. The oppressed in your community are the same as the oppressed in the Middle East. People that die in your neighborhood from random violence are the same as those that die everyday in Iraq.
I plan on writing more on this shortly - the lack of sectarian tension in Iraq and the Middle East and why YOU should care - tomorrow.