Nobody is explaining to us here in the states why the arabs and the muslims in general are so upset about the way they're being dealt with.
That causes me to wonder how YOU know.
I don't want to give a snappy answer to this question, Mike. I would suggest that rather than ask me, you simply ask the question of anybody who might want to try to answer it; or that you spend a little bit more time thinking about the possible answers available. Some of them will no doubt be snappy and nasty. If any of those come to mind, they will not be correct. If any of the answers come back scoring points for either of us, they will not be correct. Should any of the answers actually seem like they further the discussion, then you'll probably have gotten the right answer, and you won't need to ask me about it or continue that line of discussion any further.
So I'd like to ask, if you're Islamic and living in an Islamic country, how do you likely feel about the United States, and why do you you think you feel that way.
Beats me, Bob. I would say that those with minimal intelligence who are told by their religious leaders that the US is the great Satan, regard us in that manner. Those who know better don't.
In order to get to the paragraph of mine you've quoted, and which I've highlighted in italics, you had, somehow, to get through these two paragraphs:
The closest I can hear to an explanation in the general press has to do with some sort of religious narrative. From the far Right we get explanations like "Islam-o-Fascism." Also Islamic Fundamentalism. I hear Wahhabism from time to time.
Are there such things? Yeah, maybe, to some extent. And yes, there are cultural differences as well, to some extent. But that's not enough to frame the narrative the way it's been framed, as I've suggested in the paragraph directly above this one.
I don't mind that you disagree with me here; you often do. But I think that regardless of what you think of me, there's something that needs to be considered in the argument.
The argument is this: While we get from much of our press and from the far right wing that the feeling of rage directed at the West by muslims living in the middle east is religious and based on antipathy to westerners because so many of us are non-religious, or are Christian or are Jews, it is possible that this is either not the reason or that this is only a partial or a minority reason for amount of antipathy that exists. I suggests that stupidity is not enough of an explanation for the amount of anger that much of the Muslim world feels toward us, or that we are told the Muslim world feels toward us. The distribution of I.Q. among Muslims is not significantly different in the Muslim world than it is in the Western world. Stupidity is on of the few true equal opportunity employers, and there are apparently people lining up at the recruiting offices all over the world. Queues stretch around the block all on every continent. Recruiters blare from every talk radio station.
One of the things that is emphatically not stupid is an attempt to understand reasonable motivations for the actions of others. Reasonable motivations are motivations are motivations that I figure are enough to push people I respect into doing something on a dependable basis.
I never liked Jimmy Swaggart. Even on my most growly bear burr-under-my-saddle day, if my spiritual advisor told me that Jimmy Swaggart was The Great Satan and I believed him, you wouldn't have caught me strapping on fifty pounds of dynamite, roofing nails and rat poison, connecting them up to a dead-man's switch, and trying to find out where Jimmy's next fund-raiser was going to go on. Nor would anybody I admired. And the profile of terrorists — at least when I was a kid — would have fit me. Middle class or upper middle class, college educated or more, idealistic, pretty much down the line.
I knew kids in the SDS. They weren't stupid kids.
If you want to learn what it is you're dealing with, you need to use your empathy. You need to figure out what would make you want to act that way. You want to study information about other people who have acted that way. If you dismiss them as stupid, you've just refused to look at your best source of information. If what you want to do is listen to people who say they're stupid, then you're listening to people who know even less than you do tell you stupid things in an authoritative way. And then you're deciding to believe them without doing any critical thinking about what you're listening to.
BNow you don't stop looking, once you try to figure out a reasonable explanation, and once you listen to what the actual people who do the stuff have to say. People can't always explain themselves very well, and sometimes they can explain themselves very well indeed, but without much connection to what the actual explanation may be. There are some interesting stories about split brain research. But any of these things would be a decent place to start.
I'm afrais I don't know what Rock-ports or Jimmy Chues are. Is that a California thing??
Rockports are a brand of walking shoe that tend to be pretty comfortable, depending on your feet of course. They come in a variety of style and they are often fairly attractive and often fairly light weight. Think L.L. Bean Chinos, a Brooks Brothers sport shirt and a pair of Rockport loafers; or, if you want to go much more upscale, a pair of Brooks Brothers Loafers. Kiss Me, Kate!
This would not be so much California as Harvard Square. You would probably be shocked to know that there are very very few parking spaces in Harvard Yard. In fact, I don't know of anybody, really, who's parked there seriously.
Jimmy Chu is a Shu designer. Pardon the visual pun. He designs womens shoes for women too rich and beautiful to look at. I'd add," Just ask them," but you'd have a heart attack if you tried. Think Sarah Jessica Parker's good looking sister.
No, perhaps it's better if you don't. A guy can only tolerate so much pain in one lifetime and you've already been married.