posted on Oct, 18 2005 @ 03:18 AM
Nice podcast, Fred. If it weren't a godforsaken hour (0405 EST), I'd give my own podcast. This'll have to do, I suppose.
The one major point I've learned as a student of history is that US foreign policy during the Cold War was ten kinds of screwed up, and it ALWAYS
came back and kicked y'all in the teeth.
The war in Vietnam, meant to stall communism, actually ended up with more of south asia in communist hands (thailand, cambodia, et al).
The war in afghanistan sure went well- those same fighters the CIA armed and trained are probably still fighting now. Failing that, the arms given to
them are being turned against US servicement.
This is just another example of foreign policy not quite being thought through. The West deposed a democratic foothold in the Middle East over oil,
and basically handed it over to the enemy. Of course, the string of broken WWII promises and the almost unconditional support of Israel sure helped,
(I do support Israel as a sovereign nation, but deplore the tactics they use to stay that way)
As for how to help drag the Middle East out of the aristocratic dark age it has fallen into, I would say that it requires the same things that serfs
in the middle ages did- advanced economics and education. Those are the two things that really did in the feudal lords, and those will be the things
that do in the oil barons. How?
Firstly, education. Secular, straight up education. You get the kids to know about their world in a less propagandized envrionment, and maybe the
Middle East would be less hostile overall towards the West. (way to ruin being civilized for the rest of us, Eisenhower!)
Secondly, an economy. A lot of people in the middle east live hand to mouth, barely scraping by. Makes it an easy choice to done splode yourself as an
alternative to getting chopped out for your shoes or starving to death. Give people the nine to five, an air conditioner, a TV and the internet, and
behold! Extremism will die in a fit of apathy and lethargy.
That's my two cents.