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View Diary: SoS Hillary Clinton and Egyptian Foreign Minister Announce Cease-Fire Between Hamas and Israel (163 comments)

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  •  Ha. If the US came out consistently for ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharon Wraight

    ... democracy and human rights, it would have no friends in the region at all.

    •  We might have fewer friends in the governments (10+ / 0-)

      of the region, but we'd have a lot more friends in the region.

      The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 10:55:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  One can hope (5+ / 0-)

        but although the populations presumably would welcome greater democracy, I'm not so sure that there is a vast desire in many countries for greater human rights - especially human rights that apply to women, gays, and individuals whose religious beliefs (or lack of same) differ from their own. People everywhere want peace, security, prosperity and dignity, but we shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that all American values are universal.

        •  It depends on who you speak with (10+ / 0-)

          If the voices you speak with are only those who benefit from this arrangement, such as men, you may hear the story that it is integral to maintain non-democratic status. This is, in fact, the exact story one would hear in some spots in West Africa if only the most dominant voices are listened to.

          But there are whole groups of people who go unvoiced in these regions who may have very different perspectives -- women, mainly, but also LGBT folks.

          American values are, in no way, universal. I agree with this wholeheartedly and caution people against adopting neoliberal modes of thinking. But historically speaking, when we have been privy to the voices of the nonprivileged in a society, we often get a different picture of the needs and desires of a people. And thus I did mention Africa. On first glance, one would think that many regions favored war lords running amuck with child soldiers doing their bidding. Not so. As soon as Democratic elections are held where women are able to vote, different stories emerge completely about the desire of the people. I would suggest we'd see an equally shifting narrative were more Islamic women's voices included in the conversation, if not by local Patriarchy, by those in other spaces who can listen to what women say too and better understand the whole culture.

        •  If you applied your comment equally to the U.S., I (5+ / 0-)

          would agree. There are forces in all countries, including the so-called "developed" nations that fit this statement of yours

          I'm not so sure that there is a vast desire in many countries for greater human rights - especially human rights that apply to women, gays, and individuals whose religious beliefs (or lack of same) differ from their own.
          The Republic of Ireland, a member of the EU and a country to which we have numerous cultural, ethnic and sentimental ties, has laws that forced a pregnant woman to die in agony rather than have her doomed fetus removed. Ireland's been debating this law for decades with absolutely no progress made in changing it.
          Our own country is headed in the same direction with all the anti-abortion legislation, with the "personhood" bills that would outlaw the most popular types of contraception, with state legislatures' (Texas, Ohio) defunding of organizations that provide women's health services. We've made progress on gay rights but the right-wingers, sensing their loss in that area, turned their sights on women's reproductive rights with a fair amount of success.
          You said
          we shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that all American values are universal.
          Unfortunately values considered "American" by so many people in our country are truly universal -- the values of censoring and limiting the rights, choices and religious beliefs of others.

          We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

          by Tamar on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 11:26:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ridiculous false equivalency (0+ / 0-)

            Your comment represents exactly what I despise about some liberals who believe in cultural equivalency between America and the Islamic world.

            In Saudi Arabia and Iran, women are under the guardianship of male relatives, i.e. they are legally SLAVES. Do you honestly believe that a ban on abortion is anywhere near as big a violation of women's rights as keeping women under actual slavery?

            In many Islamic countries, homosexuality is punished by death. How in the world does banning gay marriage even remotely compare with executing gay people just for being gay?

            Bill Maher has said it best time and time again: even our average Christian fundamentalist is far more culturally progressive than the average Muslim in an Islamic country.

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