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Freedom Not Intuitive

Reader comment on item: The Roots of Iraq's Rebellion

Submitted by Rick Heller (United States), Apr 14, 2004 at 23:26

Daniel,

I value your independence of mind.

Growing up in a free country like the United States, it seems like the desire for freedom is intuitive to all human beings.

But in many societies, obedience is valued, and freedom is equated with license.

I'm afraid that we overestimate the thirst for freedom among Iraqis, and underestimate the habits of obedience to authority.

Certainly Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan valued obedience. But we were able to occupy the entire German-speaking world (except Switzerland) and the entire Japanese speaking-world for an extended period, and reshape them.

Even if we occupied Iraq for longer, whatever impact our top-down cultural revolution imposed would be diluted by cultural influences from other parts of the Arab world.
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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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