Just some random thoughts on a Sunday afternoon.

p10104  Why is it so many people over seas dislikes western culture and the governmental powers of the western world? Well far as our culture, to a morality based religious culture the western culture would appear to be quite decadent and low in moral standards. Besides the cultural differences there is the past colonization of the middle east by the British and French. Even though all the colonies were dissolved and abandoned the resentment is still there. Then the long dislike between Islam and both Christians and Jewish faiths doesn’t make things any easier between the western and middle eastern powers. Sometimes I believe the west in general seems to interfere too much with the middle east and that keeps mistrust and hatred brewing.  A lot of the tension in the middle east is spawned from the constant debate of the Holy places in Israel. The fact that civilized people can not come to a fair way of sharing the Holy sites. The holy sites do not belong to one religion, they belong to all of God’s children be they Muslim, Jewish or even Christian.

After all we are all followers of the same god regardless the fact that the prophets we choose may be different or we may believe the messiah has already came once or not. Religion put aside there is the presence of military forces in middle eastern countries, even if they are invited by the governments or not they are seen as invaders by some in that region. Places like Iraq and Afghanistan may require our presence for a short while longer but the sooner we pull out and let the active governments stand on their own the better. The fear of a terrorist supporting government taking over or infiltrating the new governments in Iraq or Afghanistan is a waste of time. Regardless of how long you train and support the current governments the fact remains there will always be the risk they will turn terroristic or unfriendly after we leave. Our military presence isn’t going to make any difference on that fact. Plus with a about a decade of military and financial support, both Iraq and Afghanistan should be able to stand on their own by now.

Diplomacy should be the first priority for both the west and the middle eastern powers, both sides need to put their past differences aside for the good of our world. Trust can be earned on both sides if they are both willing to work at it and maybe sacrifice a few things along the way. Peace is always a possibility if both sides are truly willing to work for it. Just think how much money both sides would save and be able to apply to helping the people who are in need. All the money spent by governments and terrorist organizations to wage war could be used to build houses, schools and feed the hungry or heal the sick.

Just some random thoughts on a Sunday afternoon.

Raymond Barbier

You can not force a change on a society that is not ready

IMG_1077  Should we be in Afghanistan or Iraq? Afghanistan I believe was a necessary step in both retaliation for 9/11 and to reduce the abilities of the terrorist. Iraq on the other hand I believe was an Unnecessary war, the removal of the Iraqi government and military might left a vacuum of power in the region giving Iran a stronger position in the region. Regardless of what war was justified or not, it is time to bring our troops home and allow both countries stand on their own. Our military forces in the middle east is unwelcome by most if not all Arab nations, even the ones that say they welcome them. We must learn to have a foreign policy in the middle east that is less threatening.

I understand the position western countries take when it come to human rights and the fear of unstable nations achieving nuclear armament but our interference in the region is not going to stop the enviable only postpone it. So instead of trying to control the nuclear threat we should be concentrating on both the defense against the threat and the reduction of nuclear stockpiles globally. I have never understood the reason why any nation would want to possess such horrifying weapons of mass destruction. The thought anyone would want to kill that many innocent civilians . No religion, Nation or principle should be worth the death of so many.

We should learn to respect the right of each nation to rule their land as they wish, as seen the people in those countries eventually enact the changes necessary in the end. Of course change usually is painful and costly in the end, but the change is a necessary part of any society’s development. And you can not force a change on a society that is not ready, it’s a process that must happen on its own. The United States has a long way to go far as learning the above lessons and in creating a better relationship with middle eastern countries. Our reputation in the middle east is not a positive one and obviously we need to change our policies in order to improve that reputation.

I know I am no military strategist or foreign policy expert but I do know that our foreign policies are not working and usually using military force is not the best idea, because wars cost us in casualties and in money.

Just some thoughts this modern layman had. Right or wrong They are here to share.

Raymond Barbier

Heart full of Sadness, Mind full of Awe –Thoughts of an Old Man

Japanese People

Image by aelena via Flickr

  My heart is full of sadness from the current death and suffering across the globe. Between the problems in the Middle East and North Africa to the ruins left in the wake of an earthquake and tsunami in Japan there is a lot of work to be done by the international community. The tasks at hand are not easy ones due to the fact too many governments playing politics while so many suffer and are dying each day. While N.A.T.O. and the U.N. debate over possible solutions the crisis is becoming more and more critical with each day that passes. We should come together as a world to help Japan avoid the Nuclear disaster that is looming on the horizon. We should do something to keep Libya from becoming a nation soaked in the blood of civilians and revolutionaries.

  My mind is full of awe from the discipline and courage of the Japanese people in the face of such great danger and devastation. Workers and military personnel willing to get so close to the reactors as they are going critical and doing so knowing there will be great health risks involved if not death. People such as those are what we call heroes and great humanitarians. They put their own life on the line for the good of all of mankind. I pray their heroic efforts succeed in stopping the looming nuclear disaster and that we can learn from this serious situation. Nuclear power may be a financially ideal source of energy but the possible costs involved such as nuclear waste and the chance of nuclear meltdowns. Maybe the situation in Japan will open the eyes of the world to the dangers in playing with nuclear power and that we should be investing in alternative power sources such as solar , hydro and wind power technologies.

  The Libya problem is one that effects not only North Africa and the Middle East but the whole world. The United Stated should be leading the way in finding a solution to this problem and should do so soon. Each day America wastes playing political games the more people are slaughtered by the Kaddafi Regime. Strong words and sanctions are not going to stop the slaughter of thousands of civilians and rebels. The situation in Libya went from a political struggle to a humanitarian crises and something needs to be done soon.

  Just the thoughts of some old man, May God watch over those in Libya and Japan.

Raymond Barbier

No country is immune to the divide

Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Hebrew, (English and...

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  Across the globe citizens of all walks of life are protesting and rioting against governments that are now learning the lessons of not listening to their citizens. Imbalance of power, wealth and education is creating a wave of anti government sentiment and actions. In the U.S. the Unions and workers of many states are in a battle for their rights to have a good wage and decent retirement / Insurance coverage. The citizens of the middle eastern countries and north Africa are fighting for basic human rights. All of this is due to the greed and the inability of governments to listen to the wants and needs of their citizens.

I find it quite sad it takes such protests and riots to enact change in countries and governments of the modern world. Maybe some good will come out of all of this unrest and un needed killing in countries such as Libya. Maybe, just maybe other countries and their governments will learn to listen to the public and be more concerned about their needs and wants. Possibly they may even see the great gap in the wealth and health issues within their own borders and try and find a way to make it a bit more fair and balanced.

No country is immune to the divide between the economic classes, some countries have a larger gap than others and this will eventually create either unrest or a economical downward spiral for those countries. The working class is the one that both helps create/provides goods and is the major consumer of such goods/services. Neglect that class and allow them to become impoverished both financially and in education then you will see a economical disaster in the making.

Another lesson that the world may learn is that we really need to move away from the dependence on oil as our main source of fuel. The unrest in the middle east has already increased the cost of oil per barrel to over 100 U.S. dollars and has effected the stock markets across the globe. An oil based economy like what most of the world is connected to is not a very stable one due to the increase of demand and the dwindling oil supplies and reserves across the globe.

  To those in Libya, Egypt and the rest of the countries in the Middle East / North Africa I send my best wishes and my condolences for the lives lost in the revolutions/protests.

Peace is the path seldom walked.
Raymond Barbier