Sep 04

What is “Change”? You’re Living it Right Now

A lot of Republican naysayers feel Obama has little substance. He is a “celebrity”, more concerned about his career than the fate of the Free World. They always seem to ask the same thing. What “change” is he going to bring?

Trust, combined with the internet, is a weapon many Republicans never seem to get.

What scares a terrorist more? A bomb, or the internet? A terrorist ringleader can find a desperate kid wanting to make ends meet for his family. If that kid gets bombed, he is regarded as a hero and rewarded in Heaven. If you empower that same kid with knowledge from Wikipedia or W3Schools, it’s over. In the same ways the Catholic Church had to conform to a world taken over by the ideas of Martin Luther, Fundamentalist Islam cannot compete with a world where a Muslim student in Pakistan just wants to compare chemistry notes with a Christian student in Texas. Fundamentalist Islam cannot compete with people of two totally different faiths who are comparing how their beliefs are the same and how they are different. Fundamentalist Islam depends on the few guiding and monitoring the many, and that just doesn’t compute in a wired age. Why would a Muslim want to listen to laws made by few men after experiencing the vast expanse of influence on the internet and being able to contribute to it himself?

Bombs incite people. Used prematurely, they make enemies of people who have no business being enemies. Use them unilaterally, and it’s even more stupid. The potential of information on the internet is infinite. We aren’t just literate anymore, we can all be publishers and are all students of our own work. Are we really all that different? Aren’t we all just trying to make our lives a little better for ourselves and our children? The internet, coupled with a commitment to truly understand and appreciate all cultures, is more dangerous than any war the Republicans can continue to fight. It’s important to retain defense, but it’s not going to work against a people who have so little to lose and don’t want us there anyway.

Osama bin Laden wanted us to fight. He was looking to incite us so as to stimulate anti-American sentiment and thus support in his cause, and he did a great job. He still can’t compete with a tool that allows Muslims to learn useful life skills, participate in international commerce, and learn about the world around them. They are shutting themselves in and we must have the courage to help those who want to open up.

Even if we can’t get internet into certain areas, we can get other people into those areas who can then tell their stories. Those stories are then compared to others, which are then scrutinized against others. People love telling their stories, and it’s every historian’s dream to have so many firsthand documents with so many angles to a story.

We are fighting the few who control the many. Activate the many, and the few oppressors are gone. That is what we live now. That is Change.

Two Questions: How many microloans could we have given out in Iraq with the trillions of dollars we spent on this war? If we did that, do you think they would house terrorists?

What is change to you?

  • http://amzuri.wordpress.com Alexander M Zoltai

    I love your question about microloans!!!

    What is change to me?

    Staying in Motion and using your Heart as your Compass…

    ~ Alex from Our Evolution

    Alexander M Zoltais last blog post..Rationale for This Blog

  • http://heatherartworks@blogspot.com Heather

    Excellent awareness post! How easy it is to fall prey to the ‘Fear’ when we are fully capable of looking for a better solution to problems if we just take the time to think about it. We’re all creative, it’s just how we choose to use that creativity – to tamp other people down or to support & lift them up.

  • http://patramsey.net Patrick

    Michelle,

    Good piece. I’ve got a few points I want to explore more, but I gotta say, I like your message about information and knowledge making a difference.

    First, I doubt the idea that people “don’t want us there anyway” is as clear cut and black and white as you think. Yes, I believe firmly that Iraqi people want us out of their nation. I don’t think they want us gone in an instant nor do I believe a good many of them wanted us to have never been there. It’s a point that has been argued for five years and will continue to be argued for years to come. Leaving the question of should we have gone into Iraq aside, the question of people not wanting us there underscores an argument of yours that we’d have been able to give out microloans in Iraq instead of spending the piles of money it’s taking to fight the war and rebuild the nation.

    Money was given to Iraq time and again and hand over fist prior to our invasion. That money didn’t do anything to change the political or socio-economic situation there. Removing the totalitarian regime did and progress can be seen in the number of provinces now under Iraqi control, the amount of foreign money flowing into the Kurdish regions, and the profits being made by the Iraqis from oil sales. Looking at Iraq 6 years ago and Iraq today is like looking at a brick wall and a picket gate. One can be opened, allowing for a free flow of ideas and commerce and the other allows nothing to pass.

    Another question I’ve got is that you mention bombs being used prematurely and then unilaterally. Those aren’t the only two instance where bombs, or violence overall, could be used. What about a reactionary use? Staying with the military theme, a nation attacks another nation. Generally, the nation that got attacked fights back. Add layer of politics and debate to it, and people in the nation originally attacked ask questions about why it happened. If those people are free to criticise their government, they might ask why nothing, or enough, was done to prevent the attack. “What did they know and when did they know it,” so to say. Another question that could be asked would be “If we thought something would happen, why didn’t we do something about it and prevent it from happening.”

    This is the preemptive use of violence, or bombs. It’s, in my opinion, the most dangerous use of bombs because all too often, those outside of the decision-making process react with uncertainty about the decision. And in a cynical age, that’s bound to lead to criticism and anger about those who decided to act.

    OK, enough with those points. I absolutely believe that a greater exposure to information and knowledge will undermine fascist rule around the world. That information, though, has to be able to reach the peoples under oppression. How is that achieved? That’s always a harder question.

    Cheers!

  • http://michellesblog.net Michelle

    Pat,

    I have to agree with Bill Clinton on this one. Iraq was not the biggest threat to U.S. safety, and he told the Bush administration this upfront before they started.

    In regards to information, there are movements within the Muslim world to overturn fascist regimes. Empowering these movements that are created by those who understand the landscape the best is more effective than bombing the entire landscape. Much of the “collateral” in the Iraq war were innocent civilians. This is wrong, and certainly doesn’t help us when it is broadcast on Al-Jazeera.

  • http://christen.dybenko.net Christen Dybenko

    Powerful post Michelle. I agree. Knowledge changes so much, but I’d never thought about the amount spent in Iraq with microloans. Hmmm… Makes ya think.

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