I got a couple very well thought out responses to my last query. I’ll be posting parts of them in this thread and respond to them so that it is more freely viewable.
I’d like for that to really kickstart more people into giving their opinion on the matter.
First, JaneM Writes:
I think we are witnessing a clash of cultures, western culture is splintering off with one faction in the US and the other in Europe. Conservative Americans (and Canadian and Europeons) see the changes in European society as a grave threat to their dearly held beliefs in tradition, individualism and cohesive moral values. The same threat is felt by those who don’t value traditions, believe strongly in the collective and are completely secular in their moral perspective.
You put into words my train of thought.
I think you’re right. There is a clash going on. A further widening of the gap between conversative values and liberal morals.
I see many exceptions to this though. Canada as a whole is liberal, but many many people still go to church and take their moral direction at least in part from their spiritual beliefs. The same in Europe. Italians, French, Spanish… they are largely Catholic, the older generation especially. Yet those same people do not aspire to the conservative “Good vs. Evil” battle.
While religion certainly plays an integral role in the challenges that we face as a world… is that the cause of the divide between liberal and conservative camps in the West? What of the Buddhist movement… who, next to Islam I believe is the fastest growing religion in North America?
Without the common foe, the USSR, to collectively oppose, we are now free to examine more subtle aspects of our societies aims and goals and our ways of living. Our goals are clashing far more openly
You took the words right out of my mouth. I was going to write exactly that in the previous post. I think this is definitely a factor. Without a common cause as overbearing and straightforward as the USSR Behemoth.. we are left to our own devices. The other “causes” in the world are so much more complicated and convoluted. They are open for interpretation… and that exposes our own differences.
One of the startling contrasts in western society between early 1900 and early 2000 is the increasingly prevalent lack of civility. Society on both sides of the Atlantic has become rude, crude and angry to a great extent. Such attitudes only fuel polarization.
Definitely. Just after the last Canadian election, when people started to realise that we would be government by a Minority/Coalition government the point came up about the lack of “Whit” in the House of Commons. Back in the 50s and 60s, confrontation in the House was much more civil. Insults were delivered through witty exchanges rather than the blunt accusations of today. I’m willing to bet the same can be said about the exchanges in the US Senate and House.
Our Parliamentarians are supposed to reflect the views, attitudes, and expressions (Carolyn Parrish aside đź™‚ ) of their constituents. Looks like they’re doing exactly that.
What ever happened to diplomacy and helping others save face?
I believe that to be the root of what happened at the UNSC before the Iraq war. We all know that negotiation and diplomacy works eventually… yes sometimes it’s a very long tedious and frustrating process. But it boils down to all parties “saving face”. There has to be a willingness by all parties, at the start, for that to happen.
Thank you Jane for your comment… what I find most striking and encouraging about your comment is that we share so much in common in terms of what we think is wrong. That is the starting point to making things right. Right? đź™‚
On to the 2nd comment.
The US war on terrorism didn’t begin and end with Osama Bin Laden, or didn’t begin or end with al Queada or the Taliban. Name a country any country in the middle-east that is mostly Muslim and you will find a dictator running it and clerics in mosques teaching hate and death to America.
The truth of the matter is, Saddam Hussein is a bad bad man, the baathist are a bad bad political party, al Queada and the rest of the terrorist are bad bad people, Islam is fast becoming a bad bad religion.
In a way I agree… Islamo-Fascism didn’t pop out of nowhere on 9/11. It was already there and already spreading its’ ways. I cannot agree, however, with the notion that Islam itself is to blame for the violence that we see. There are millions upon millions of Muslims and people of Islamic faith in the world. Indeed, in Canada in the 2001 Census, 580,000, or 2% of Canadians said they were Muslim. That may not sound like much, but it was an increase of 128% since 1991!
In the US the Census cannot ask about religion… but others can. You will find the exact same trend. In 1990, 520 million Americans said they were Muslim, in 2001, 1.1 Million said they were.. a very similar increase to Canada.
My point being… how many times have you heard of those Muslims in your country, and in mine, spouting Anti-American slogans? I certainly haven’t… which leads me to belief that the majority of Muslims, just as the majority of Catholics, Christians and Jews, regular people who just want to live their lives in peace and freedom.
And that is why we must fight not only the Islamo-Fascists… those that are, I suppose, lost souls… but also the root causes that have driven them hate and violence.
We (the US) have helped (by blood and money) more people than any other country in the history of the world and deserve the utmost respect, but look where it has gotten us, NOWHERE. We can’t depend on anybody but ourselves anymore…
You’re right… the US is by far the biggest contributor to help the needy and poor and disadvantaged throughout the world. I believe you are respected for that to the utmost and it has helped you in many instances to garner support for your initiatives. What’s more, I think it is too often forgotten now that the attacks of 9/11 generated absolutely universal and deep sympathy to the United States. I certainly was personally affected by that day and I remember saying to my girlfriend at the time that I thought the world was surely going to change because of that day. It affected us all. That is why the entire world, including all of the Allies of America rallied to your defense and supported you in Afghanistan.
Unfortunately, Iraq presented a much different situation. The majority of people outside the US did not recognize the links to Terrorism or AQ, whether they were there or not. And that really resulted in a huge split in world vs. US opinion. I believe the runup to the War… and the bitterness around it, squandered much of the sympathy and support that the US gained from 9/11.
The liberalism that permeates your culture is the disease that causes your poor judgment. The only way to make amends is to apologize for your mistake. When we start seeing polls in Canada that show the majority supporting our efforts in Iraq, and when you send troops and money to help us, then and only then, will we know that you have apologized. When that day comes…you will be forgiven.
Your terminology is really overly antagonistic… but I think it does represent what many feel. It is that more extreme view, along with the opposite view on “the left” that must be moderated in order to find a solution.
I don’t think that you’ll ever see a poll in Canada (or anywhere outside the US for that matter) that will be supportive of the US operation in Iraq if it continues as it does today. That said, I do think there will be wider support to help Iraq once Elections are held. It will probably not be in the form of direct military support for the US, but rather some sort of UN sanctioned forced in Baghdad. I would hope that the Canadian military would be able to be part of that operation, and I know that Canadians in general would support that operation.
I would like to point out also, that Canada was one of the first and largest “non-coalition” countries to contribute money and support to Iraq after the war.
I don’t think Canada or Canadians, or anyone is looking for “Forgiveness” from the US. But we are looking for a way to reconcile our differences. And I believe that will come in time.
… So that’s it.
I ask the others on that are visiting to share their opinions as well. Thank you Jane and Tony for your contributions.. feel free to continue the discussion in the Comments in this post.