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real change is unlikely

Reader comment on item: Back to the Shores of Tripoli?
in response to reader comment: To GIK - Changing perception vs. currying favor

Submitted by the Grand Infidel of Kaffiristan (Australia), Apr 9, 2011 at 06:33

Michel Zala writes:

"...Teachers, students and workers are still resisting and holding out in Misrata, even though liberation may never come. Proof enough for you?... "

Sure, proof they want change - but hardly proof that they want what you think / hope they want. As you would be aware there are forces vying for dominance in the new playing fields

".....America is exceptional, has a mature democracy and the needed possibility to project power - we have a moral obligation to intervene, "

which inevitably would be seen as direct interference.
if you want to bring a 'moral' perspective in - even Christ would not take responsibility for those who refused his message. So why should the US - which has been promoting democracy for years in countries in the region - keep on with its efforts when no real change is evident? Have the lives and rights of Copts in Egypt improved one iota since Mubarek was deposed?

"......but as opposed to so many other conflicts in the world, here we can combine the moral obligation with factual benefits to our own National Security. All that at a comparably low cost. We should do it, because we can. We should do it, because rarely before did I see pro America signs at mass demos in the Arabic world on Arabic TV above all...."
The anti-gaddafi forces have their backs against the wall. Of course they will be pro-Nato and pro-US ....
while it suits them. My slightly more cynical stance tells me that as soon as the pressure is off and they have free reign to form new governments - it will be business as usual. Once again the 'death to america' theme will be raising its head.

"...To get a bit of positive PR with Bios of muslims is not a bad thing - it has nothing to do with trying to curry favor, but everything with changing perceptions, which is good for business, trade, strategic interests and even the homefront. "

Unfortunately it's not that simple. Islam is so ingrained in these people . Fundamentally - the question is about changing their deepest beliefs - not just how they see a potential trading partner. The Koran - which we are told is actually a book written in the 'divine' language - Arabic and resides in 'heaven' - has to be modified so that passages such as the following two gems which I've just used in another post are omitted.:
"O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors; they are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust. (The Noble Quran, 5:51)"'

and

"...It is He who has sent His Messenger with Guidance and the Religion of Truth in order that He shows its superiority over all other religion, even if the idolaters detest it."

It's hardly an example of allah at his all-inclusive best is it?

"...Justified or unjustified, fact is that Anti-American sentiments are significantly on the rise. Not just in muslim nations, but worldwide."

Aside from the occasional baging of US foreign policy I haven't seen much real evidence of that in the west. Of course China and to a lesser extent with Russia these days it's par for the course. And of course if Europe were under a real threat from any direction - America would suddenly become their best friends again.

Occasionally you get individuals who seem to almost require some group to protest about in order to feel alive and wanted - or others who have a chip on their shoulder and are equally sure about virtually any other any other cause that may grip their non-thinking minds. But by far the most strident anti-Americanism is found among a certain 'religious' group in the Middle East often seen with placards and chants of 'Death to America' and 'death to Israel ' etc Even in the west.

'...It is a PR debacle, as unfortunately Bush did not do a good job in explaining and justifying Afgh., Iraq or the blind eye to regimes such as Yemen, Syria, Iran, Egypt or most of all Saudi Arabia."
Maybe not. But Obama hasn't done much better in these new areas either.

"...The one in a million idiot nutcake preacher, who burnt the Quran, then posted the video on UtUbe, cost us dozens of deaths, enraged millions of Muslims and quite possibly shipped busloads of new recruits to Al Kaeda training camps. ..."
But nevertheless , regardless of how ill thought-out his actions were -those actions by muslims prove the very point he was trying to make. The question becomes - '...should we give in to the demands of two year olds - whenever they throw a tantrum??? '

"...This one fanatic bigot - even worse, under the umbrella of Christianity - undermined singlehandedly our entire foreign diplomacy vs. the muslim world and may very well prove to be responsible for future terror victims. "
So this 'diplomacy' is so fragile that a relatively trivial act in and of itself can destroy it? Hardly worth maintaining then is it if the recipients have to be handled like eggs in order to get their grudging approval.

"May he burn in hell himself. ""

What happens to these guys - and these? And why was this event not so newsworthy or provoke killings of innocent people around the world?? I'd say racism as well as obvious religious bigotry is tied up in the disproportionate muslim response.

"Do you now really think, that liberating the Libyan People from Gaddafi, people waving US flags, reported on by many Arab TV channels, would be such a bad thing, just because it doesn't satisfy our own pride?"
A nice image, but seriously - how long do you think it will last? I think you'd be surprised how little it will take our newly found 'fairweather friends' to revert to their former stance.

"...As mentioned before, sometimes - a truly rare occasion in international relations - one has a chance to do the right thing, stand on the right side of history, w h i l e serving important direct national interests. This is such an occasion. More often than not, which is a sad dirty cynical historical fact, one has to sacrifice the first for the second, as my father had to experience."

OK - I'm inclined to agree that it would be nice if we could take this one case as a litmus test to see if real and deep change is possible. But I'm certainly not going to be surprised that once this dictator (who last year was nominated to be on the UN Human Rights Commission) is removed - it will end up much the same as Egypt - with Islamists of all flavours vying for power. Same old, same old. I think you are well intentioned - and I myself try to keep an open mind and realise in many circumstances change is possible if it is desired and striven for. But tragically people do not change unless they really, really have to. What's it going to take?

Submitting....

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