It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Western culture: Will that change the Middle East?

page: 1
0

log in

join
share:

posted on Jul, 30 2004 @ 10:57 PM
link   
Most of the millions of people in the Middle East (except perhaps Turkey and Morocco?) have been living under dictators and religious theocracies their entire lives. They've had no freedoms whatsoever, and only knew and "believed" what their dictators and Muslim clergymen told them.

However, in Afghanistan and Iraq, things are becoming different now.

After the U.S. Armed Forces entered both of those countries in 2001 & 2003, and toppled their governments, those people got their first taste of freedom. I've seen on the network & cable TV news stories about Afghans and Iraqis trying out Western culture without fear of punishment for the first time -- innocent stuff like Western music, TV shows, movies, books, and magazines -- and even Western vices like alcohol and tobacco, which they might have known about, but certainly didn't have access to before.


Now, none of this "trying on" of Western culture is being forced upon the people in either country; this is all coming from their natural curiosity about the West, since the government that had previously oppressed them is now gone (their opinions of the U.S. occupations and provisional governments notwithstanding).

So, my question is, how will this change the Middle East? Will the Iraqi and Afghan peoples (while maintaining their basic cultures) have a shift in their political ideology, to one of more freedom? Will those countries become more Westernized over time? Or will the provisional governments fall, and new dictators and religious theocracies take over once the U.S. withdraws from both countries? And, if the former, will the new Iraq and Afghanistan start a trend that will 'spill over' into the other Middle Eastern countries over time as well? (Kind of like how, once the Berlin Wall fell in East Germany, suddenly everyone in eastern Europe wanted their freedom as well.)

What do you think?




posted on Jul, 30 2004 @ 11:06 PM
link   
Wouldn't Hong Kong, Soth Korea, and Japan be good examples? I mean, they have a way of thinking that is total opposite of Western ways, and look how they deal with it. They mix and match. I lived in South Korea, on and off, for three years. When I'm there, I catch myself bowing when I'm talking on the telephone!



posted on Jul, 30 2004 @ 11:22 PM
link   

Originally posted by curme
Wouldn't Hong Kong, Soth Korea, and Japan be good examples? I mean, they have a way of thinking that is total opposite of Western ways, and look how they deal with it. They mix and match. I lived in South Korea, on and off, for three years. When I'm there, I catch myself bowing when I'm talking on the telephone!


Great examples!
Yeah, I'm not talking about running over their cultures or anything... just modernizing them with freedom of speech, press, assembly, democratic elections, rule of law, due process -- adding those qualities to any country that lacks them is an improvement, no matter what its cultural foundation is.


[edit on 7/30/2004 by ThunderCloud]



posted on Jul, 30 2004 @ 11:39 PM
link   
Afghanistan was so bad off that it really had nowhere to go but up. Their new constitution guarentees a certain percentage of women in their legistlature (can't remember the exact figure - it might have been 25%). I suspect the people there will embrace the principles of freedom while still retaining their national identity.

It's interesting, but a lot of youth in Iran actively embrace western culture. I read a great book, Persian Mirrors by a NY Times reporter, that gives a lot of insight into how the country is on the verge of another revolution. Much of it has to do with Western culture being embraced by their youth - more than 50% of the population is under 30.

Things are changing over there. While there are certainly downsides to western culture, I suspect the upsides (free speech, democracy) will make the world safer within the next decade. hmmm...maybe Bushie's 'domino theory' might come to pass.



posted on Jul, 30 2004 @ 11:42 PM
link   
Sorry to spoil the fun but Afganistan and Iraq are not enjoying any freedom at all.

The American troops are holed up in Kabul, so things are a little more free in that city for women, but in the rest of the country it's back to the old ways of Taliban rule.

Now Iraq well we all know what is going on in there.

The middle east is a group of nations that are older than the rest of the world, they have a way of living and beliefs US is never going to change what they have live by longer that this nation has been a nation, wishfull thinking though.



new topics

top topics
 
0

log in

join