Thursday, September 20, 2007

Not so shining example...

As I sit back in between cars that pass by in the drive through at work, I watch CNN 24-in our lobby. Today, a press conference with the President streamed into the tube, and as I heard him babbling in the background, things he was saying caught my ear. He was addressing different things, among them, the war in Iraq and the new developments we were striving towards. One statement in particular made me cringe a little more than usual. George W. stated that ‘we need to teach these Iraqis the benefits of democracy.’

Ok, first of all, how long have we truly been a democratic peoples? There was a time in our not so distant history where individuals living in ‘the greatest country in the world’ were restricted from voting based on their race and/or gender. Having been around for a mere 200+ years, and only giving a voice to your Anglo-white males for a majority of that time, doesn’t really offer the brightest beacon to the people in 3rd world countries.

We like to stand on our self-made pedestal and preach to the world about the power of democracy and freedom. However, we also like to forget the fact that not even 50 years ago our nation struggled through our darkest days of the Civil Rights Movement. We think there should be gender equality in the Middle East when not too long ago we wouldn’t share a water fountain with a person of a different color. Not shortly after the birth of the United States were we greatly un-united.  The Civil War was the bloodiest wars ever fought on American soil. Brothers fought brothers in a battle for state vs. federal power that was partially fueled by the fact that we were enslaving human beings! What an example of democracy and freedom!

America still faces the effects of these issues still today. However, the fact is, we made it through these struggles without the assistance or driving force of foreign nations. The US keeps its nose in the air and, many times, refuses foreign aid. With that said, how do you think these Iraqis feel about a hostile force coming over and forcing democracy upon them? Some nations are not ready for democracy. It takes time, man-power, and motivation of the people.

In terms of motivation, for a country who’s voting turn-out continues to dwindle in some of the most important times of change, it is ironic that George W. feels we should teach the benefits of democracy, when his own country’s people seem to know nothing or care very little about them. In light of the 2000 election, it seems many individuals who even bother to vote in Florida don’t even know how! It peeves me that since there were no WMDs, this is our ‘new mission.’ Operation Iraqi Freedom is helmed by a country that has barely been able to define what freedom actually is. Not too long ago, US citizens were discriminated against and refused ‘freedom’ based on the gender, race, and now, sexual orientation. By risking the lives of our own people to bring democracy and freedom to another, I feel that the ‘Melting-Pot- is merely saying, “Hey Kettle, you’re black!”

1 comment:

Lexi said...

Well written article.