I did not perceive Esastek's remarks as veiled threats. I did not get the feeling that he was the kind of person that would attack me on the street because I was American. I think he was trying to express how Muslims, in general, feel about American imperialism. They feel they are being exploited and the natural response is anger and retaliation. The fact that Americans often give to foreign causes does not fully compensate for the fact that they also take foreign profits. Americans on an individual basis do good things, but on a collective level, driven by corporate greed, we do very bad things. We have become the next "evil empire" in the world.
I look at it this way. Mesopotamia is the so-called "Cradle of Civilization". Well, now that civilization has grown up a little bit it has left the cradle. But civilization is still a youth, maybe even a toddler. So, when the toddler is running around the house (the world) and burning up energy and sees a full milk bottle (oil reserves) in his old crib, what do you think he is going to do? He's going to take it, especially if he thinks someone else might get to it first. And suppose he has a little brother in the crib. How do you think that little brother will react when the bottle is snatched away from him?
This is a childish metaphor, but we live in a childish world. America elects an oil baron for our President, and then we wonder why our President cares more about Iraq than Mississippi. And we wonder why the governments of developed countries think "democracy" is needed in Iraq but not Rowanda, and are willing to spend trillions on such a farce.
Those of us who may be striving for maturity have to continue dealing with those who don't. I'm trying to be a realist. I don't expect to save this generation. But I think that understanding the past is the first step in saving the future generations. For example, take my recent posts on Osiris and Varuna. If Jews, Christians, and Muslims realize that the Temple Mount was once the site of an Osiris shrine, and that King David fully respected it as such, doesn't that change things? Doesn't that show how ignorant it is to fight over who controls the most Canaanite rocks, and help us find a way to give everybody a rock that they can call their own.
© Charles N. Pope, US Library of Congress. All rights reserved.