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Friday, April 24, 2015

Pounding A Western Square Peg Into A Middle East Round Hole

Because of time constraints, some of the works reviewed here are rather simple. But that is not true this time. Carl Raschke wrote a good article for the website Political Theology on the Western bungling of the Middle East (click here for the article). This bungling has been occurring for over a century now. And the bungling has to do with the Western insistence that the Middle East must be based on the European Westphalian model of nation-states. And the more we insist on that model, the more we both are surprised and mess up. 

The mess ups are made by the Western nations. And here, the Western nations cannot be reduced to just America, it includes Europe as well. And America's mistakes cannot be blamed on just one of our major political parties. Both of our these political parties have committed error after error only to experience surprising, and on good ones, outcomes.

The surprises come in the form of the groups that rise up to oppose us. These groups, according to Raschke, are not based on our Western nation-state model. Instead, these groups tend to be based on a 'theo-political' model. In that model, religion is king, not the state. And the problem with relying on the Westphalian model is that it treats religion as a second class citizen. Thus, we should be able to begin to see the source of at least some of our problems. So as we blunder our way through nation after nation, we are ignorant, willfully so according to Raschke, of what we are doing and what to expect next.

The only criticism I could have on this article is a claim made by a Politico article he cites stating that Obama is resisting being involved in the region. How can one say that when troops are still stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as drone activity has increased and the supporting of proxy leaders continues?

Other than that, the question becomes, when will we learn? In describing the West as having 'willful ignorance,' Raschke's answer, at least for today, appears to be obvious. It is the same answer Peter Pan would give about when he would grow up:  'NEVER'!

Would say more about the article but such would distract from something you should read for yourself. So please click the article's link at the beginning of this post and read for yourself.





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