Lessons From The Middle East Crisis
When things like what we are currently dealing with break out in the Middle East, it can teach us something about human nature. There are definitely things to be learned this time around.
First, the obvious lesson is that we need to be more concerned about being respected in the world rather than liked. And the two are not the same and never will be. John Kerry, when he ran for President in 2004, said that we would be more respected in the world. What he really meant was liked. He wanted world leaders to like us. The same holds true for the current President, who tries constantly to make people like us. He agrees to meet with certain leaders and not others and does a tour to apologize for what we have done in the past. What has it brought us? We are looking at it. Instead, we need to be respected, even feared. If people thought about storming our embassy and then thought that maybe we might decide that we were going to kick butt and take names, they might just think twice about it.
The other thing is that we need to be clear on who we are fighting in the battles that we face. We are not facing off with an entire religion. We are facing off with a group of people that are extremists. That paints no one else that is of the Muslim faith as someone who wants to kill us. Only those on their fringe want to. Others are like you and me, just trying to make their way in the world. Painting all Muslims with that brush is like painting all Christians to be just like Timothy McVeigh. No one would want to do that because we all know that this is not true. You can't generalize about a group of people because you are painting the majority of them the wrong way.
The path to peace in the Middle East is not an easy one and there is no easy answer. However, when one of our ambassadors is killed, when multiple embassies are overrun and our flag is taken down and burned and torn apart, we do have to respond appropriately. That is up to smarter people than myself to figure out. What I can figure out are the simple lessons that we all know. Some people are just bad people. Some people are just good people. It has little to do with what group they belong to and more to do with who they are and how they act.