posted on Jul, 30 2004 @ 10:57 PM
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
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?