Sunday, September 03, 2006

Brooks Gets It Right...

...but he's still fudging. David Brooks, writing in the New York Times, discusses cultural differences (sorry, you'll need registration to read it in the Times), and he makes a lot of sense.

Unfortunately, he doesn't go far enough in his discussion of America's problems facing these differences.

The Islamic extremists pose a serious problem for the entire world, and so far our response to that danger has been, um, ineffective.

What to do? How about something like this, a response to David:

This (The hard lesson of the last five years — that we live in a jagged world filled with starkly different and contesting groups — makes democracy promotion more difficult but more necessary) is an excellent ending to your column today.

Now, while you are correct with the idea behind "And yet I can’t seem to renounce my own group, which is America," there is a slight fault with the syntax you chose--no one is suggesting you renounce America. The suggestion is that you stop enabling the current administration with your half-hearted defenses of its policies.

Arrogance and heavy handedness have no place in diplomacy. Foolishly, the Republican Party in 2000 nominated a movie cowboy, for the second time, to the top job of the nation. It worked well enough the first time, but this time the challenges were more real than those of the 1980's. At that time, the Soviet Union was teetering on the brink of collapse, and Reagan's blusterings worked well enough. This time the threat has been more dire, younger, fueled by extremism and a religion of "honor." And our "group's" blusterings are exposed as the cinematic ephemera they have always been in the reign of the cinematic.

Our part in the culture struggle must be informed by the realities of other cultures, not by our mythological assurances that the cowboy shoot-em-up wins the day.

Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Post a Comment