Friday, September 14, 2012

Stirring The Middle Eastern Pot

Every once in awhile I grit my teeth and tune in to Greta Van Susteren. I don't watch her more for a couple of reasons.  One, and I'll admit it's a pretty stupid reason, is I find her voice extremely annoying.  The other is that she's like a dog with a toy she refuses to relinquish.  Even when a guest answers her question every which way but naught she continues to press until I'm ready to shout, "Stop and listen!"

On the other hand, her tenacity is a good thing.  She doesn't let her guests off easy and if they're avoiding a straight answer she hounds them until they give one.

Last night she had an interview with the Libyan ambassador which was enlightening.  It applies not only to the turmoil in Libya but all middle eastern countries that are heavily Muslim.  It shows, really, how little we pay attention to their culture, where they're coming from.  Something I harp on often.

Let's say for the sake of argument that the offensive video was the cause of the ongoing outrage against all things American rather than the most recent convenient excuse.  I think the riots were going to happen anyway, but for now that's beside the point.

Van Susteren asked if the Libyan people didn't understand that the American people as a whole and the American government weren't  responsible for the video.  She seemed genuinely taken aback when he told her they didn't see it that way and attributed it to the difference in our systems of governing.  Hello?  It's a big 'duh' moment isn't it?

In their countries everything is controlled by the government therefore the government is at fault.  That's their reality. He agrees with his people, too, that the film maker is a terrorist as much as those who stormed our properties.  Admitting the attackers were a very small group of 'stupid' people, he could reasonably equate Terry Jones and the film maker as a very small group of 'stupid' people.  But terrorists never-the-less, right along with the government.  They don't grasp the separation of the two because they've never known it.

That a lot of information is now coming out about our having been forewarned, etc. doesn't bring me any comfort when it comes to how savvy we are on handling our interests in the middle east.  The one thing that is clear is how they view us and why.

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