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What a relief it was when the current administration rushed the pull-out... It's a good thing the focus was simply on fulfilling a campaign promise instead of ensuring the country of iraq, and ultimately our country, we left in a stable condition. It would be a shame if we had wasted countless lives, not to mention all of those injured mentally and physically, just to hand the place over on a silver platter to our enemies...

oh, wait...
 

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Don't get me started...
 
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The best thing for Iraq was Saddam Hussein. They only understand rule by an iron fist. Democracy is not compatible with Muslim extremism...just ask them...they'll tell you if they're being honest (good luck with that though).
 

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The best thing for Iraq was Saddam Hussein. They only understand rule by an iron fist. Democracy is not compatible with Muslim extremism...just ask them...they'll tell you if they're being honest (good luck with that though).
Some of them are beginning to understand what freedom is. I am working side by side with them right now and there are a few (3 out of ten) that want nothing more then to do things that seem trivial to us in the states. They will freely admit it. Like date. They still have arranged marriage over here. Consequently the Divorce rate is sky high. Go figure. Privacy is a big one. Guys wife wants to sun bath behind the privacy of her own PRIVACY FENCE. Neighbor climbs on top of something and sees said wife and calls the cops. Because it's not in keeping of their ways. They want to have a beer. They want to be happy (being noticeably happy is frowned upon). The culture over here is stifling. This is why most of them jet off to some country that allows these things every chance they get. I say three out of ten because the other 4-7 of them want those things but won't admit it.

Also the tables are turning over due to the overwhelming westernization of the place. You go to a mall here and they have all the same stores/restaurants we do. Same with fashion. If they begin to dress like us and eat like us and speak like us (which they have) then eventually they will want more. A good bit of these folks were educated in American universities. Point is there are a lot less extremists then you would think. There are also a lot of people out here who are simply doing what they are told. I will not speak on the religious monster that is an everyday part of life over here. But there is only one true religion in their eyes. Imagine the bible and the laws that govern you being so closely related that you can no longer enjoy a woman (physically) any way you see fit. Things like that.


However, I believe that freedom is slowly progressing for these particular people but slowly. Just as freedom is slowly regressing in the states. Freedom of speech is no longer freedom of speech in the sense that things might happen to you if you are outspoken about certain things that used to be tolerated. Like we live in a free country so why is it not ok to say certain things about your governing body?
 

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I will not speak on the religious monster that is an everyday part of life over here.
You can't ignore Islam when talking about social mores and politics in the Middle East. In the west, church and state are separate entities. But with Islam, the church IS the state and vice versa. This is due to the lack of a true "middle class" in the region.

Stay with me here, I'm gonna take up some bandwidth. In Europe during the middle ages, the Catholic church dominated every segment of society from the peasants to the princes to the point that you had to pay the church if you wanted to go to heaven. The church was the state. Martin Luther nailed his "95 Theses" to the door of a church in 1517, launching the Protestant Reformation (Please note that the root word in protestant is "protest.") But what set the conditions for the success of the reformation was the presence of a significant middle class who were tired of the church butting into it's business. As most of us know, in a feudal society there are royals and there are serfs. Royals rule and the serfs suck it up. But there was also a small group of people between the two main groups - The artisans. These were the artists, engineers, masons, and wrights that literally built the empires of the various kingdoms.

The artisans established guilds and standards to regulate their various specialties.

The artisans needed supplies of all sorts from clothing to tools for their projects and a mercantile system of shops and stores started to appear to fill that need.

In some cases projects were so expensive that the artisan couldn't pay for it out of his own pocket, and therefore financial backers were needed. The artisan also needed a safe place to keep his profits and guilds usually had a treasury for this purpose. These backers and treasuries eventually evolved into banks.

By the 1500s, families eagerly sought to have their children enter the guilds since it was seen as the surest route to a wealthier, easier existence. The guilds and their supporting apparatuses grew in size and influence. These people weren't serfs. They were well-educated for the time and were accustomed to the hard realities of...Mathematics and logic. The numbers never lie. And to the guilds the numbers just didn't add up when it came to the policies and strictures of the Church. So it was this "middle class" of artisans, technicians, bankers and businessmen - neither serfs nor royalty - who spearheaded the Reformation, causing the most intense theological debate in Christianity's history. This debate continues to this day (Get a Catholic and a Baptist together and get them to talk religion. Entertaining, to say the least.)

The Reformation caused the church to re-think it position in society. It's power and influence had been severely diminished by the establishment and popular recognition of the Lutheran Church in Europe and the Anglican Church in England (This was a fringe bennie for the English, since the Anglican Church was formed for entirely different reasons.) This debate, the civil exchange of viewpoints and the continuing analyses of the Bible were key to Christianity's efforts to remain relevant in society.

Theological debate is also what's missing in Islam. And that debate is missing because, for the most part, the middle class is missing. Muslims await their Martin Luther.
 

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Some of them are beginning to understand what freedom is. I am working side by side with them right now and there are a few (3 out of ten) that want nothing more then to do things that seem trivial to us in the states. They will freely admit it. Like date. They still have arranged marriage over here. Consequently the Divorce rate is sky high. Go figure. Privacy is a big one. Guys wife wants to sun bath behind the privacy of her own PRIVACY FENCE. Neighbor climbs on top of something and sees said wife and calls the cops. Because it's not in keeping of their ways. They want to have a beer. They want to be happy (being noticeably happy is frowned upon). The culture over here is stifling. This is why most of them jet off to some country that allows these things every chance they get. I say three out of ten because the other 4-7 of them want those things but won't admit it.

Also the tables are turning over due to the overwhelming westernization of the place. You go to a mall here and they have all the same stores/restaurants we do. Same with fashion. If they begin to dress like us and eat like us and speak like us (which they have) then eventually they will want more. A good bit of these folks were educated in American universities. Point is there are a lot less extremists then you would think. There are also a lot of people out here who are simply doing what they are told. I will not speak on the religious monster that is an everyday part of life over here. But there is only one true religion in their eyes. Imagine the bible and the laws that govern you being so closely related that you can no longer enjoy a woman (physically) any way you see fit. Things like that.


However, I believe that freedom is slowly progressing for these particular people but slowly. Just as freedom is slowly regressing in the states. Freedom of speech is no longer freedom of speech in the sense that things might happen to you if you are outspoken about certain things that used to be tolerated. Like we live in a free country so why is it not ok to say certain things about your governing body?
Maybe when the job you're on is done you should consider missionary work.:?
 

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Some of them are beginning to understand what freedom is. I am working side by side with them right now and there are a few (3 out of ten) that want nothing more then to do things that seem trivial to us in the states. They will freely admit it. Like date. They still have arranged marriage over here. Consequently the Divorce rate is sky high. Go figure. Privacy is a big one. Guys wife wants to sun bath behind the privacy of her own PRIVACY FENCE. Neighbor climbs on top of something and sees said wife and calls the cops. Because it's not in keeping of their ways. They want to have a beer. They want to be happy (being noticeably happy is frowned upon). The culture over here is stifling. This is why most of them jet off to some country that allows these things every chance they get. I say three out of ten because the other 4-7 of them want those things but won't admit it.

Also the tables are turning over due to the overwhelming westernization of the place. You go to a mall here and they have all the same stores/restaurants we do. Same with fashion. If they begin to dress like us and eat like us and speak like us (which they have) then eventually they will want more. A good bit of these folks were educated in American universities. Point is there are a lot less extremists then you would think. There are also a lot of people out here who are simply doing what they are told. I will not speak on the religious monster that is an everyday part of life over here. But there is only one true religion in their eyes. Imagine the bible and the laws that govern you being so closely related that you can no longer enjoy a woman (physically) any way you see fit. Things like that.

However, I believe that freedom is slowly progressing for these particular people but slowly. Just as freedom is slowly regressing in the states. Freedom of speech is no longer freedom of speech in the sense that things might happen to you if you are outspoken about certain things that used to be tolerated. Like we live in a free country so why is it not ok to say certain things about your governing body?
Very interesting observations. Did you bring enough pocket constitutions to hand out to anyone who seem open minded?

Maybe if enough people realize how solidly the US Constitution cement freedom, they will fight for something similar there?
 

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Maybe if enough people realize how solidly the US Constitution cement freedom, they will fight for something similar there?
If they are paying too close attention, they may be seeing the cement starting to crack and say why bother.
 

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Our mullahs are the big brother government and their pc thought police. Both tell their subjugates what to think. The only difference so far is that ours does not openly execute those who do not follow the dogma.
 

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You can't ignore Islam when talking about social mores and politics in the Middle East
Lebben I am a guest of a Muslim country at the moment. These guys are internet savvy. You won't catch me picking apart their religion on the net. That being said if you read my entire post you would see the undertones and understand what goes hand in hand with the acceptance of western culture. It is happening. There is a middle class here. Believe that. I work with them. No there has not been a famous rights activist here you are correct. This is due to the fact that he wouldn't live past his first public speaking arrangement. I'm not being sexist in saying "he" either. You would need to understand the way this society views gender to understand why it would have to be a male. However it is happening all the same from within. Martin Luther king was needed because what he was trying to accomplish was a breakout idea. If they want to see what being free looks like all they have to do is visit the United States. Most of them have and its where the idea took hold. It is still in its infancy however. No I want no part in educating these folks. I would like to see tomorrow. The change has to happen from within. Missionaries would do well to leave these people alone and let them figure it out in my opinion.
 
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When you think we go back to clean it up again???
 

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Posting on a droid phone is like trying to cut the lawn with a spoon.
 

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Martin Luther king was needed because what he was trying to accomplish was a breakout idea.
Not Martin Luther King, Jr., my friend. The German priest, Martin Luther was who I was referring to.

You would need to understand the way this society views gender to understand why it would have to be a male.
After three tours, I have a good grasp of gender roles in Islamic society.

There is a middle class here.
Disagree. Where you're at (Kuwait, unless I miss my guess) has a middle class centered around Kuwait City. However, across the region (which is what I was referring to in my post) the same cannot be said. In macro, the Arab professional class is small. Most large engineering and construction projects and sub-contracts are farmed out to foreign concerns. This isn't conducive to the development of a large, robust middle class.

The change has to happen from within. Missionaries would do well to leave these people alone and let them figure it out in my opinion.
On this we both agree.
 

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Not Martin Luther King, Jr., my friend. The German priest, Martin Luther was who I was referring to.


After three tours, I have a good grasp of gender roles in Islamic society.


Disagree. Where you're at (Kuwait, unless I miss my guess) has a middle class centered around Kuwait City. However, across the region (which is what I was referring to in my post) the same cannot be said. In macro, the Arab professional class is small. Most large engineering and construction projects and sub-contracts are farmed out to foreign concerns. This isn't conducive to the development of a large, robust middle class.


On this we both agree.
I see what you're saying. I have only dealt with a microcosm up to this point and a middle class one at that. The gender comment wasnt directed at you it was meant to ward off any "you're being sexist" thoughts or remarks from other readers. My apologies for not specifying. I read Martin Luther and immediately thought of Mr. King. I guess because the racism is remarkable out here. It goes like this in order from highest to lowest - Kuwaitis, Lebanese, Americans, Egyptians, Philippinos, Bangladeshis. So I guess its not Racism per se but you are judged based on your nationality over here. I am not going to get into that any further because the whole thing is ridiculous. Let me be clear that is how the mind of the Kuwaiti works when it comes to your status in this country. I believe it is also necessary that I tell you that this place has changed quite a bit in the last ten years and is changing more and more every day. Thank you for your insights Lebben.
 
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