I agree with some of her points but I disagree with just as much.
How can she compare the USSR's presence in Afghanistan to ours? The USSR did ask the women to take off their Burka's, but they did not liberate the Afghan people, they merely went to impose a different form of oppression: communism.
Her article is full of a kind of European chauvinism, that some how Europeans have the capacity to appreciate liberty but that the people in the middle east aren't. She completely glosses over how we established freedom in Japan, and complete ignores that we created or help maintain the viability of democracies in many places in Asia, such as South Korea, Taiwan, Phillipines, etc, none of which have a historical affinity for liberty prior to our arrival.
She goes on about how liberty was "returned" to the Eurpoeans and that in the Middle East they never had it and therefore won't really want it.
I say she is wrong. Human being are born with the asperation to be free, that longing is in all of us, including those living under tyranny in the middle east.
Perhaps the years/lifetimes lived under Islamic law in one form or fashion, while living under political despots has cause the desire new take root, to be truly free and allow neighbors to be truly free to worship the religion of their choosing. Little will be accomplished by giving free elections to people who live under theocratic rule self imposed then transferred to religious Imams. Look at Iran. The struggle for real freedom is in real danger of being suppressed yet again. Religious totalitarianism is more insidious to root out of the psyche than the iron fist of political totalitarianism. The Middle East is hallmarked by religious totalitarianism, Islamism. The radicals outnumber the 'jihad is a personal quest of the soul' Islamists.
posted on 03/15/2003 5:26:16 PM PST
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She completely glosses over how we established freedom in Japan
No she doesn't. Perhaps you skipped over this part of her article:
In Japan, those two pieces of chocolate were somehow a gift, a refund for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But Japan had already started its march towards progress and did not belong to the world that in my book I call the mountain. A mountain that for 1,400 years has not moved or changed, has not emerged from the abyss of its blindness. In other words, Islam
She points out is that Japan was not part of that unmoveable "mountain" that is Islam. So they had the possiblity to change, and they did.
It is naive to think that 1400 years of an oppressive, intolerant religious tradition called Islam will be changed over night.
"Her article is full of a kind of European chauvinism, that some how Europeans have the capacity to appreciate liberty but that the people in the middle east aren't. "
Whatever would you expect from a born and raised Italian? I am always captivated by Oriana's style of prose. Her ideas and notions catch you unawares and carom in another direction. She knows of that which she writes although she rambles and contradicts herself from time to time. But at the core, the essence of Oriana is her profound love of freedom. I do not care if she believes that the japanese or islam cannot appreciate it in the manner which she does. What matters is that someone as profound as her can deliver the message that freedom is dear and can be delivered to us all only at great sacrifice.
posted on 03/16/2003 12:02:31 AM PST
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