One person's thoughts may change the world
“I love America”, the young lady said. “I want to be free, I want to pursue my dreams”. “The American dream is what I want”. “I can live there in peace, I want to be an advocate for those who want freedom”.
Those were some quotes from a young lady who was being interviewed by Fareed Zakaria Sunday morning talk show. I watch his Sunday morning show on CNN, Global Public Square(GPS), and he gives some very keen insight on the world view on politics, as well as what our government is doing, what other governments are doing, insight on leaders and what their goals are, war, global warming, book recommendations, and global economics. I was once a “Meet the Press” diehard for a very long time period, but “Meet the Press” is still finding its way with its new host. They had Ted Koppel on their roundtable discussion this past Sunday, to which he gave some very good insight on American politics, and it was even pleasant to hear his voice again, he has not done too much since retiring from “Night Line”, anyway, on to commentary on Global Public Square this past Sunday…
First, the commentary from the Syrian woman of 20 years old, was speaking as to why she wants to come to America, and her subsequent denial, mainly because of the recent attacks in California and France, was meant to tug at your heart. Her voice was clear and pleasant, she was wearing her Hijab, she had been a survivor of the Iraq war, and migrated to Syria, which she said was initially nice, people spoke her language, but then the Syrian civil war broke out, and how bad is was for her, and how she wanted to get out and come to America to be free.
I have written several blogs about the Middle East, as well as the Syrian war:
Ain’t Nuttin’ Wrong with a dictator: http://wp.me/pVbXe-iv
The Middle East aka the quagmire: http://wp.me/pVbXe-ib
Oil, the great Satan: http://wp.me/pVbXe-h0
Has WWI ever ended: http://wp.me/pVbXe-bz
Those guys in the funny black suits: http://wp.me/pVbXe-g0
It’s time to send them a real message: http://wp.me/pVbXe-fO
The Syrian debacle: http://wp.me/pVbXe-bz
Now I’m no Middle East expert, and some of my commentary may appear at times fractured, cynical, and one sided, but, what the young lady wants who was on Fareed’s show is… an “Out”. She wants to get out of the war and violence, and America is the only answer…. for her. Egypt? No. Saudi Arabia? No. Iran? No. Europe? Nope. It’s America or bust. To which here is the problem.
War, is an ugly yet sometimes a necessary evil. Necessary for the wrong reasons, especially in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, but, necessary. The real pain and suffrage happens to civilians, who are usually displaced, raped, killed because of ethnic desperations and conquests of lands based upon economic value instead of tribal or civilian ethnic boundaries. Right now, we are going through the unwinding of processes and agreements going as far back as the Berlin conference of 1884-85, the fall of the Ottoman Empire, and the end of WWI.
I don’t want to minimize the young woman’s story, everyone’s story is important, especially if it’s your own, but, she is one of many millions of civilians who have displaced in the many wars and land grabs throughout history. Before interviewing the Iraqi woman, Fareed went on to tell his story, of how he feels, that he is an American. He’s a none practicing Muslim, and that being American is not just the happenstance of birthright (those are his words not mine).
Now because I’m black, I think of my experience in this country from a historical note. 300 years of slavery, 100 years of second class citizenship, and a little over 50 years of true freedom. Coming to America wasn’t a choice for my ancestors, it was a result of slavery, to which is seen to still have some implications in black culture even to this day. To the modern day immigrant, America is a beacon of hope. To the descendants of slaves, we had to embrace it even when it didn’t want to embrace “us”. It wanted to use us. Kill us. Dispose of us. Ridicule us, even to this very day. That my dear friend Fareed, is more than just happenstance. Read the following lyrics written by Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions of the song, “This is my country” Circa 1969.
Too many have died in protecting my pride For me to go second class We’ve survived a hard blow and I want you to know That you must face us at last And I know you will give consideration Shall we perish unjust or live equal as a nation This is my country
I could continue on, quoting MLK, FDR, JFK, Malcolm X and others, but I think you get the message. Now, I quoted the women in the beginning of my blog for a reason, what you dream of sometimes has to be fought for, and sometimes getting out of something for a perceived dream is an “out”.
It’s too easy to look upon the United States as a safe haven, when you don’t know what it really is. Have you fought for the same freedom’s you speak of in your own country first? Do your countrymen want true freedom, or know how to obtain it? Does the freedom you speak of work with your religious ideologies?
The United States has even tried to export democracy ( for all the wrong reasons) to places like Vietnam, Iraq, Iran, and other Middle East nations, and it has come back to bit “us” with a very expensive price tag, and a group of people unwilling to fight for “freedom” within their own country. Can you justify your soldiers running in the face of ISIS rather than fighting with that 4.3 million dollar tank you were supposed to use?
The Republican Party candidates have chimed in on these events with despicable quotes and comments. “I’m going to export all illegals”, “Ban all Muslims into the United States”, and so on. What they don’t realize is, they are creating the radical Muslim they fear. After ratcheting up the hate for Muslims, once they get here, they will be treated differently. Isolated, not given the same freedoms and rights as others. They will be looked down upon for their xenophobic behavior, living amongst themselves, speaking their own language. That in itself may lead to some kind of radicalization.
If we are to intervene in Syria, we need to intervene to allow safe haven for people who don’t want to be in the fight, and to repatriate those who have fled. Bashar al-Assad, one of the last of the dictators, is there to stay, given his allegiance with the Russians. The real goal is to Stop ISIS, create safe zones of those who have fled the war torn environments, and negotiate a lasting peace. That takes work, negotiation, reasoning without ideology, and the courage to want a form of freedom that allows you the expression of your faith, regardless of what it may be. Only then will you obtain true freedom, and that my friend takes courage.
The reality of a dream may not be what you asked for. Freedom for me may not be freedom for you. Freedom is something you are willing to die for. It’s not an “out”.
She may have seen war, and despair, and hope for a chance for freedom in the United States of American. Hmmm, that’s an easy thing, and easy out. Travel back in time and ask my relatives who were captured in Ghana and the Congo, put on a ship, worked almost to death in the sugar cane fields of Brazil, or in the Caribbean, or the cotton or tobacco fields of the United States. Ask the Native American about being driven off their lands, there way of life disrupted and destroyed, relegated to reservations and poor education. All in the name of Freedom….
Just remember, you want to come to America for freedom, but it may not want to “give” it to you….
Peace my friends…