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Sort out your assumptions

Reader comment on item: A Christian Boom

Submitted by Gary (New Zealand), Dec 19, 2002 at 18:09

It seems to me that this argument has been overly intellectualised and that there are some rather simple assumptions that people are making without realising it.

Firstly, that all faiths (West, East, North or South) have the potential and historical context to provide for a militant fundamentalist group to be founded and powerful - at the very least as a terrorist agency.

The second assumption is that the people in political power have in the past or the present the ability to understand the complexities of dealing with a faith they are not familiar with. I am not going to accuse any country of arrogance or voluntary ignorance, but who could claim that any person or country is guiltless when it comes to making foreign policy that over time backfires with the result being contrary to the initial idea. That is, blundering into a conflict (or visibly helping a third party), without realising the long term implications of the act.

Rightly or wrongly, the USA has been involved in many conflicts in the last century under the mandate of being the leader of the Western world. Surely, no one out there could argue that they haven't made some mistakes in that time as to how they dealt with each issue. Out of these mistakes is borne hatred for the USA.

Now, if that is accepted, would not the best policy for the USA to be one of sorting these mistakes out so that as many of the issues are resolved. To provide leadership sometimes means showing a ability to think and respond in a more sophistacated and 'mature' manner than those who are challenging them.

Lastly, the USA should not be standing alone on this problem as they were by no means the only ones making the mistakes. They are the most powerful (economy and military wise anyway) and so are the biggest target. This is an issue for the entire Western world to deal with and the answer should come from the Western world and not just the USA.
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