Values count. We are all oohing and awwing over how the Muslim world got so upset over a rogue, poorly done, YouTube video. Yet we are ignoring the context in which the Middle East Muslims received it.
There was a time when the world so respected the moral authority and openness of our daily doings on which our government rested that no one, even in the Middle East, would have taken seriously an amateur film.
But today since G W Bush the experience in that region is of a nation that does operate in secrecy and beyond the law with secret kill lists that include even 16 yr olds and sudden death from the air by drones taking out all around the target, wedding and funeral gatherings, renditions and indefinite detention in places like Poland and at one time Syria.
Then there are the admitted and denied tortures in places like Abu Ghraib and preemptive wars and solitary confinement of whistle blowers for over a year without due process. There is the relentless tracking down of Julian Assange.
Why in the world should they believe the film came from a free speech society?
And Mitt Romney wants the US to be a better bully?
We citizens know the character of the bulk of the citizens of the nation. But how are Arabs to know what is so good about us when their experience (actually dating to the imperialism of the petro-chemical colonization.) is all they have to base assumptions on?
I personally really fear we are looking at the beginning of more, not less war. But first the folks like us have to help define and elucidate our values. In a democracy clearly defined and expressed values are harder to betray, even by a President. — end of rant 🙂