How Might the U.S. Support a Relationship of Mutual Respect With Muslims Around the World?

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
October 23, 2009
Sunset Behind a Mosque Minaret

Secretary Clinton travels to Pakistan October 27-30. She then travels to Morocco November 2-3 to participate in the 6th Forum for the Future. The Secretary recently stated, "....Our nation seeks a new beginning with Muslims around the world, a relationship based on mutual interest and mutual respect. It’s a relationship that requires us to listen, share ideas, and find areas of common ground in order to expand a peaceful, prosperous future."How Might the U.S. Support a Relationship of Mutual Respect With Muslims Around the World?

Comments

Comments

Ron
|
New York, USA
October 27, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

Keep it Simple.....

Invite Muslim leaders to a series of True Dialogues. Focus on our similarities and cultural connections. Listen and reflect understanding.

I attended a conference in Moscow (6/01) just prior to 9/11. The meeting was convened by Imams under the theme: Islam is not a Threat to the World.

We go back a long way together as a Human Race; let's not lose it now.

Patrick
|
Maryland, USA
October 27, 2009

Patrick in Maryland writes:

Hi, Hillary And Special friends of our States Department.

I think Muslims around the world would like to be thought of as any other person you would meet on your travels. Just a normal person, don't treat them any different, no special treatment. They are just like any of us . :)

...Cya...:)

Jack
|
Virginia, USA
October 27, 2009

Jack in Virginia writes:

We must be respectful, but honest with Muslims around the world. We have done a poor job in our interactions with the governments of Muslims countries. Take our policies with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. We have close diplomatic relations with the first two countries, yet their governments are among the most repressive nations in the Middle East. The intelligence services of these countries regularly intimidate, imprison, and torture their own citizens. We have close diplomatic relations with these countries because it is in our national interest, but doing so presents a great credibility cost for the United States. On the other hand we have no diplomatic relations with a country like the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is equally oppressive, but where a youth population is more active on the web than all the youth of the entire Middle East.

We need to engage Muslims through the kind of outreach that President Obama spoke of in his Cairo speech, but we must do more. More student exchanges, more International Visitors Programs, more English-language programs, and more grass-roots engagement.

It seems a good start for the State Department to really build up the number of diplomats who speak Arabic. From what I hear, the Bush Administration had a good start. But, now that President Obama is focused on Af-Pak, it seems as if the Arab world has been put on the back burner (yes, we need people who speak Pashto and Dari, but the problems of the Arab Middle East are still front and center!).

Like a politician running for office, America can't be all things to all Muslims. There will be many that just don't like America and Americans. But, the great number of Muslims around the world will respect us if we are honest and hold true to our values. We can't render people and drop them off in repressive countries to be interrogated (and by "interrogated," I mean tortured) without losing credibility. We must support Israel in her right to be secure within her own borders. But, at the same time, we MUST be honest with her when she makes mistakes. That is perhaps our biggest credibility gap with Muslims. I know it's a tough one and people in Washington don't like to talk about it, but we'd have such a better relationship with the Muslim world if we stopped letting Israel boss us around (I mean, don't we give them millions of dollars of year? Don't we have a say in things? If we say no settlements, shouldn't they say "Jeez, America's keeping the lights on. Perhaps we better listen to them.")

Sarah M.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
October 27, 2009

Sarah in Washington, DC writes:

It is my belief that the United States can do much to improve its relations with the Muslim community around the world. In the past, we have not treated this people with the respect and equality they deserve. This change is long overdue.

First, I think it is important to start looking at the Muslim community in a different way. It is not right to continue with the mentality that the Muslim world "needs" our help. We need to start realizing that they may or may not "want" our help. If they do, then they should know that they can ask for it. For this reason, I completely agree with President Obama when he stated in his speech in Cairo, ... America has a dual responsibility: to help Iraq forge a better future ... and to leave Iraq to the Iraqis... It is time that more people learn that the Muslim community can probably make a better future for itself than we can standing over its shoulder.

Second, it is time for the United States to show the Muslim community that we want to be partners in a mutual trust. To do this, we need to stop the torture carried out in places such as Guantanamo Bay. The President has made significant strides toward shutting down this prison and these efforts should be continued to other forms of the practice. Only once we correct our human rights breaches will those in the Muslim community who hate the United States realize that we are not the enemy.

Finally, the United States needs to reevaluate its stance on the situation in Israel. The United States has consistently taken Israel's side in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This makes sense because Israel has long been an important ally of the US in the Middle East. However, it is time to realize that Hamas is a democratically elected party in Palestine and to treat them as such. Furthermore, we must take into account that Hamas, while it sometimes unjustly uses violence, is not the only one who won't put down its weapons. Israel, too, is guilty. The United States needs to once again sit down with these two nations and create a fair and equal dialogue between the two.

While the United States can work on the above topics to improve relations with the Muslim community around the world, mutual respect really does have to be mutual. As President Obama has stated, the United States will not and should not tolerate the hateful acts of some Muslim extremists. There is definitely work to be done on both sides of the coin. However, the United States needs to step up and show the Muslim world that we are ready to start a relationship based on mutual respect and mutual interest.

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
October 27, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

If your a Christian and spend any time in a Muslim country like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, this question should be reverse because they are the ones who will not allow Christians, freedom of religon, the point is there own law is based on Islam. Try reading a bible in an open square like Riyadh and watch you would be arrested. The point is we as a Nation in the United States allow for freedoms to flourish regardless of what faith, but when the tables are turned in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, there laws prohibit christians from preaching, practising, or even if you had a bible, they would confiscate it from you. I was glad King of Arabia, King Abdoulah did not punish the woman for talking about sex on a broadcast, something about giving her 60 lashes. This is prime example how the Islam belief works and if the woman spoke against the King, she would of been dealth with by authorities. Re-phrase the question again, How can the Muslim community change to allow freedom of all religions, so we all can respect each other, that is the true contribution for everyone. There might even be one of the oldest churches located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, but like one Lt. Col. in the Air Force explained, why should the Arabians allow for Churches when it's there Kingdom. The true story is how it was the British Government who turned over the Kingdom to the Royal Saudi Family. Since then we have thousands of Princes and they themselves are immune to law in their own country. Let us all recall blood money or beheaded. This practise still exists in Saudi Arabia. Now I will share a story that happened in the Kingdom back in 1999. This story was shared to me by a local Saudi man. How a Saudi Prince managed to visit a farm just outside of Riyadh. Apparently, there were quite a few lady friends over something like 18 women involved, a party. Well, the Prince told the farmer, go into the city and buy some food for the party. Once the farmer departed the farmhouse, right outside the home was GMC SUV vehicle with two Matawas sitting inside. Matawas were the religious police of Arabia. The farmer proceeds to the nearest phone and calls the Prince to inform him of the situation. The Saudi Prince looks to see if the farmer telling him the truth and he saw the vehicle outside. He leaves the home with a weapon, the two Matawas get out of the vehicle, shots were fired, Saudi Prince kills one, injured the other, then fleas the farm house. It was the next morning the Saudi Prince turned himself in to the Police. Since he was a Prince he was released shortly, no doubt after paying blood money to the family victims. Explain to me exactly how Justice Happens again? When a Prince can break the rules, he can pay, when poor people break the rules they get beheaded? How is this fair on your based religon? Rich people can do anything, poor people cannot? The Law should be for all people including the Kings, Presidents and Prime Ministers, we all should be following the same laws in all countries, all of which were derived from Gods Laws.

Godspeed!

JOE
|
Tennessee, USA
October 27, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

Until the use of differences in cultures are stopped being used for seperation, nothing will change, be it Russia, the Middleast or China. Obama makes note of this in statements reguarding some leaders being routed in the Old ways. Hillary Clinton also did so when she stated to the Moscow University students a quip about God being larger than one specific pattern of belief.

The obsessiveness and created economic dependency stystems related to creating War via: Us and Them, Good vs Evil formatt negates the premiss of finding comon ground.

Again, the platform which exist must be altered first...that is the problem.

joe
|
Tennessee, USA
October 27, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

We have attempted that for centuries. Some leaders will never alter their views. A foundation in Psychological counseling is: You cannot change the way a person thinks...

Until the use of differences in cultures are stopped being used for separation, nothing will change, be it Russia, the Middle East or China. Obama makes note this in statements regarding some leaders being routed in the Old ways. Hillary Clinton also did so when she stated to the Moscow University students a quip about God being larger than one specific pattern of belief.

The created economic dependency systems related to and War, Us and Them, Good vs. Evil format negates the premise of finding common ground.

Alter the reward systems economically and you will gain common ground.

Jonathan
|
Texas, USA
October 27, 2009

Jonathan in Texas writes:

When Netanyahu refuses to abide by The Geneva Convention protocols for occupied territories, when Israel refuses to abide by UN 242 and 338......when Israel refuses inspections of its nuclear facilities by the IAEA......when Israel is the prime recipient of US foreign aid and refuses to abide by the World Community dictates.....It is time to tell Israel, to abide by a sense of decency OR we cut off ALL AID and see how long Israel lasts........After all we attacked Iraq BECAUSE it did not abide by UN Resolutions......Why can we not enforce the SAME and JUST criteria to this State........JB

Zharkov
|
United States
October 27, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

Funny question. Millions of Iraq's citizens and thousands of our soldiers have been killed, permanently crippled, rendered homeless, and financially destroyed by that war. There is nothing respectable about invading a country and destroying it merely because we despised their dictator.

It's probably too late for mutual respect. When OPEC was created to impoverish Western nations through economic warfare, it was the end of any respect we should have had for them. We should have retaliated. We didn't and that showed weakness. Muslim leaders have no respect for us now. They don't even want our dollars anymore.

Afghanistan is a waste of money and time unless those people want our help. Let's ask Afghanistan's people to vote on whether we should leave and allow them to sort themselves out as best they can, or stay to help them. Let them decide their own fate.

They know how to vote and if they want our idea of democracy, they will fight to keep it. If not, they won't, and there isn't much we can do about that.

We accomplished our mission to defeat the Taliban but failed in our mission to capture Osama bin Laden. Our mission now should be to airlift ourselves out of there.

Jack B.
|
New York, USA
October 28, 2009

Jack in New York writes:

I think its a good idea as it leads to world peace...

It will also served as an active participation on the way of mutual peace and respect...I hope it will work...

Joseph
|
Oregon, USA
October 28, 2009

Joseph in Oregon writes:

I think that we should first recognize, given the regional conflicts which are ongoing in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the renewed post conflict tensions among the Palestinian people, we should acknowledge that any newly established initiative towards improving the relationship between the U.S. and the Muslim community globally will take time, several years. I would encourage the U.S. Department of State and the White House to consider the following recommendations, obviously requiring a shift in U.S. policy and strategy.

Secondly, I would implement a renewed effort to seriously pursue a Palestinian and Israeli conflict resolution, by negotiating a two-state solution. The establishment and recognition of a separate, sovereign Palestinian State would be fundamental to improving relations with the Muslim world, moreover we should acknowledge the Goldstone report and let the ICC's process in The Hague take its legal course. Pursuing a two-state solution, with respect to Israel and a future Palestinian state should be placed on the front burner.

Thirdly, regardless of which steps we consider or implement, improving relations with the Muslim community would be a very tough sell, if we continue drone launched missile strikes in Afghanistan and in Pakistan, regardless if Department of Defense or CIA initiatives. Drone strikes kill and injure the civilian populations, regardless who the intended target(s) are, they are counterproductive, I would cancel and stop this military strategy. Collateral damage leads to irreparable damage and long term animosity against the U.S. presence, regardless in which country we operate in.

Fourth, I would withdraw all of our U.S. military presence in Iraq by the end of 2010 and bring the military presence to approximately 25 thousand troops by August of 2010.

My fifth recommendation entails, scaling back the troop presence in Afghanistan to 30 thousand troops with an ultimate withdrawal over the next twelve months, by December 2010. We need to get out of the business of attempting to establish Western style democracies in traditionally Islamic countries by utilizing military force. In Afghanistan I would establish a new strategy with engagement with the provincial tribal leaders and by re-introducing the emphasis on nation building by committing resources. We need to modify our military and political strategy, from war fighting to focusing on the reconciliation process for Afghanistan and in Iraq.

My sixth recommendation is to accelerate the momentum and process with the closing of Guantanamo prison. If this prison closure should take place in the very near future, it would send an immediate positive message to the entire Muslim world.

My final recommendation would be to implement a global initiative, of developing a Muslim cultural exchange program, between all predominantly Muslim countries with the U.S., similar to the Muslim cultural exchange program that I helped daft for the U.S. Department of State last year, while completing my internship in Milan, Italy.

I would gladly take on the lead role and join the team of the Under Secretary of State for Muslim Affairs, Farah Anwar Pandith with improving relations between the Muslim communities and the U.S globally.

Markus
|
Austria
October 28, 2009

Markus in Austria writes:

good to be good to all people and peoples ...! ! !

Ibrahim
|
District Of Columbia, USA
October 28, 2009

Ibrahim in Washington, DC writes:

We need to use real people as bridges to the Muslim world genuine Muslims who live here in the state and some who work here at the department as our face to the Muslim world from all walk of life we need to utilize these assets, to visit other parts of the Muslim world also to invite the Muslims who come here to the State from Diplomatic or just visitors to spend a day or two with the Muslim family and this family will show them our every day live here just as a normal person, I have been living in U.S. for the last 30 years as a practicing Muslim didn't see any disturbance may some ignorance from some but I was always able to practice my prayers 5 times a day at my job Fridays and Ramadan I worked at the Pentagon during 9/11 incident, I think we need real stories to show that America
respects Humans for their values and their being, my Family as an American Muslim Family they are the window to the Muslim world, I personally would like to participate in this and show that we are American Muslim proud of our American Flag and our belief we get along with everyone in respect, how there are Churches, Synagogue, Buddha temples, Sikh temples, and Mosques across from each other how beautiful is that, I don't think anyone can express this but by looking at it.
I have been inthe U.S. military in the 80s and exprienced the respect that was given to me as a Muslim solider during Ramadan that was before the Muslim Imamas were appointed, so there are blenty of good examples from a perssonel exprience.

hamed
|
Tunisia
October 28, 2009

Hamed in Tunisia writes:

Hello: About me, i respect the States of America and more than that i'm fascinated by it all as great power in most majors.
And really i can see that it respect us as moslems and tunisian we Tapped by many benefets from it's government.
But we have something missed it's to make it's people more informed about islam.
Cause the common thoughts there it's that islam is the religion of terrorism and of many other bad things just make the real face of islam, cause i concluded after contact with some native Americans they have a really bad idea about islam and muslims "not true"

Anyway thank u to give us this chance to speak and the solution of that small problem it's to give the real image of our religion and stop that bad interpretations

Thanks again and again and i think it's a good step for a great peaceful world

palgye
|
South Korea
October 29, 2009

Palgye in South Korea writes:

-Shortly and says a narrow secret intention thought. (Charge is. Writes the writing in the place which the Department of State manages)

MUSLIM...

first,
The men make and, the law the men in compliance with the custom which puts they think the society which governs most.
-That is like that, when will hang disregards, thinks with repelling the thing where the many victim will come out.
Recognizes this to initially and from the mask to make the system which protects weak person social, a support and little by little promises thinks that must induce an opening.

second.
estrangement and In compliance with a Western influence thinks a damage thought, always.

-The most of the nation where the oil does not come out is become accomplished the dictator also the underdeveloped nations and the nations where the oil is produced in compliance with some people, to the back there are Western nations, fights and must take back the right which the themselves is legitimate, appears the thing to be thinking that. - The nation which floated the weapon and the money the nation which is poor labor power?

Changes all at once and the polyvalence this also only side effect to bring about thinks only adverse sentiment more the thing which will become larger.(Militarily yet many part the communist state the tendency which depends in the 3rd world is strong).That is like that, solves with press or small-scale support to, many time and effort are demanded, actually is many is been difficult, that, sees.
Which degree the thought which is a problem of the Islam influence inside is with the thought which is personal. Which degree.
Islam only religion is same always and thinks with the sibling and helps a propensity each other there is, makes the new slogan foundation of the type where the nations of the rich man Islam nation and the West Europe, the method which helps the Islam citizens will be how? So far from exclusive and custom the support which is not help the inside, thinks that the capital which will make a many trial and error is.

(Thinks their religion what the access method where the access method which leads is best. Religion .........................)

Afzal
|
Pakistan
October 29, 2009

Afzal in Pakistan writes:

Secretary Clinton is a true friend of Pakistan. I may doubt others but she is the sincerest person U.S. Administration has ever seen. Her interaction with Media and Students of Pakistan (though not truly a representative of all 4 provinces) was an excellent show. This people-to-people contact must go on so that we can understand each other point of view properly. Her frank and candid discussion with the media and students has made me a big fan of her.

Lots of love & regards from the province of North West Frontier (Pukhtoonkhwa).

Joe
|
Tennessee, USA
October 29, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

@ Zharkov in U.S.A. -- To Z QUOTE: "Afghanistan is a waste of money and time unless those people want our help. Let's ask Afghanistan's people to vote on whether we should leave and allow them to sort themselves out as best they can, or stay to help them. Let them decide their own fate..."

Afghanistan is about a much larger scope and the ultimate paradox.

The political situation is; unfortunately, separate from the overall dynamics and strategic situation that exist.

Simply put, it is more important that we keep WMD out of the hands of fanatical leaders who have a populace based in theology in which the dynamics of negotiation is confrontational and maintains no economic foresight for infrastructure development beyond narcotics, illegal activities. The use of whatever means necessary to be there, regardless of the negative aspect may well preclude leaving.

I do think that overall, we are fighting the Russians war for them in many respect. Given even one year of development by the terroristic groups, which recently have been shown more organized and sophisticated that thought, the entire Middle East and Eastern Europe would be compromised in short order ...providing an even larger base of revenue from oil and gas. It is understandable as to why the U.S. does not expect more support from Europe and Russia, because that is where they will migrate next if given the opportunity to develop. Heroin use in Europe is now above that of the US and growing; so, they are already experiencing only one of the negative effects of the existing situation.

Maintaining insecurity and the use of paranoia is the last method of trying to gain control of any social structure and an indication of a defiant or hostile and weak leadership. They only appear to be stronger...

Without security, the political situation is secondary.

Joe
|
Tennessee, USA
October 29, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

It is understandable as to why the U.S. does not expect more support from Europe and Russia, because that is where they will migrate next if given the opportunity to develop. Heroin use in Europe is now above that of the U.S. and growing; so, they are already experiencing only one of the negative effects of the existing situation.

CORRECTION; THE U.S. DOES EXPECT more support....It's their butts in a sling given proxmity and Islamic population bases. Unless they feel Russia will defend them,or there are aggreements the U.S. is not aware of I cannot understand why they are not one hundred percent involved...

Stability, nothing will work unless there is elimination of unstable elements.

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
October 29, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

There is only one God in the universe and what we do have is many languages on earth. Ever since the tower of babble in Iraq, people were given a new tongue, a new voice, and a new language to speak. The Lord thy God has many names including the secret name of "Jah" which is mentioned only once in the bible. Whether your a Muslim, Christian, Jew, or whatever your faith is, a higher power, God will be the same today and outlast us all in the end. We all are sheep in the bigger flock of life. Jesus, Mohamed, Moses, the Virgin Mary, all Saints, are reminders of the teachings given to us in time.

A true Miracle will be when all religons and all people can accept and respect each other for who they are, what they believe in, without trying to destroy each other. God made Jews, God Made Christians, and he made Islam. Guess what, "It was a test of faith" since with one religon on earth, we couldn't get along then there was a split and we still can't get along with each other. They say the Jews are special to God, well I have some news for everyone, "God created all people, all living things on earth, we all are special under God" not one race, color, religion is any more special than another to God.

The Lord thy God has some expectations for the people. The first expectation is these wars will have to end. The Lord is outraged and shocked by the deaths of so many innocent people on both sides of the conflict. All the while the arms dealers continue making big profits from a war, it's the wife, sons and daughters who continue being a sacrafice and casualties of war.

The blood shed in the Middle East is now as deep as the North Atlantic ocean. Too many lives have been perished and swept away in Terror and Violence. The religous people in all languages should be praying for the end of these wars. A true Peace Maker is one that finds a solution to the stalemate of issues which gets to the root of the problem. Anyone can address the surface of issues, get to the bottom of why people do what they do and then you have resolve.

The Second Expectation God has for all people, "Learn to love they neighbor" focus on the word love. It doesn't mean lust they neighbor or destroy thy neighbor, it means we all have to be tolerant at times with our neighbor in good times or bad times in life.

The Third Expectation - Thy shall not kill or destroy

Fourth Expectation - Accepting and believing in GOD for they will never perish. God's angels watch over people who love God. Those who are against the Lord, or just don't believe are misguided and when Judgement day happens, they will be the lost sheep.

In life everyone will be Judged by God for their actions. The good deeds in life, the good and bad. There are steps that follow to redeem your soul. Redemption means to repent your sins under God and you will be forgiven. In order to be put into the "Book of life" God has to write your name in the book. If your name is not written, you still have time to repent your sins and ask God for forgiveness.

Some of us that have been in the lands on earth that has evil, remember one thing, "God's hands built this earth and he will stand by his people. How do I know this to be true? When an accident happens, some perish and some live through the accident and survive. This was another test God gave to see where your loyalty is at. Even during the most dangerous part of your life, God will be there for you!

The True Healing Power comes from inside your hearts. The will to live, for those who are dealing with cancer or having medical issues, God is the best Doctor on earth. What did people do 300 years ago before Hospitals and red tape that exists in most Cities today around the world? They prayed to be healed and it worked. It is equally said, that God does work through Nurses and Doctors today, giving them the tools they need to help cure patients. Above all God can make it happen or not happen in life. He will always be the Alpha and the Omega, which is the beginning and end of life.

God is the true genius because he can calculate exactly every inch on earth, all sands, dirt, rocks, and minerals and he certainly knows how to create storms. He knows the exact amount of people on earth, and animals. Think about that for a minute... He can send heat waves, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, mudslides, tsamanis, hurricanes, plagues and diseases around the world at a moments time. Its up to the people to make it right before the wrath comes!

Godbless and lets hope and pray for peace on earth for all people, all religons and all races to be treated with respect and grace. Being humbled in front of God is the first best step.

Olimar
|
District Of Columbia, USA
October 29, 2009

Olimar in Washington, DC writes:

Is definetively something that would not happen overnight. There's nothing more strong that culture and attitutes. We need to promote an atmosphere of cultural understanding and respect if we want to make any sort of reconciliation with Muslims. We need to continue transmiting messages of open dialogue. Moreover we need to make our diplomatic ties more visible and change American's own views about Muslim culture. It would be great to establish dialogues among different Muslim-American think-tanks and other NGOs with representatives from Muslim countries.

Zharkov
|
United States
November 1, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

The proper use of drones is in actual combat where one can see the enemy firing on our soldiers, not for conducting assassinations of civilians.

Contrary to Mrs. Clinton's assertion in Pakistan, we are NOT at war with any nation.

Congress has never officially declared war against either Pakistan or Afghanistan. Appropriating money for conducting military operations is not a Declaration of War. We know what a Declaration of War is, having last done so in 1941.

Our fight was with Osama bin Laden, we were told, and not even the Taliban. The purpose of fighting the Taliban was only to get bin Laden.

One would presume that Pakistan's citizens have every right to expect they will not be suddenly killed, and their homes destroyed, by a crazy government that wants them dead.

The obvious question is whether our government intends to murder everyone in Afghanistan and Pakistan who violently resists our military troops in their countries.

Does our suspicion that some people might be combatants and wish to gain control of nuclear weapons in the future justify our killing them today?

Would we use drones to fire missiles into a bank being robbed in Chicago merely because a bank robber was inside?

What if we merely suspected that a bank robbery was being planned, should missiles be fired at wherever the suspects might be located?

Has mass extinction of a suspect population become the final mission of our twisted, insane federal government?

Perhaps Congress needs to change the law to make assassination of Islamic extremists into a "Muslim Health Care Program".

T.J
|
United Kingdom
October 31, 2009

T.J. in the United Kingdom writes:

It may be time to bring about a new Universal religion based on the teachings of the old ones and compareable with the new thinking.

It would be intersting to see how many Mullah, Priest and Rabbi would be willing to give up their power to bring about Peace for the common good of all.

Farah
|
United Kingdom
November 1, 2009

Farah in the United Kingdom writes:

Dear Sir,

Democracy has its pitfalls and is not the best system, but there is no better system at present, Western style democracy in the subcontinent is not working where social equality is nonexistent, Democracy works differently in different parts of the world which need different rules, and some parts are not ready for western style democracy.

Imposing democracy in the subcontinent for corrupt and puppet regimes is not the answer, Democracy is the name Feudalism gives to oppressed masses whenever they need them, (There is more than one way to roost the cat) People kill and are killed because they cling too tightly to their own beliefs and ideologies. When we believe that ours is the only faith that contains the truth, violence and suffering will surely be the result. No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to bribery and brutality, HUNGRY PERSON IS NOT A FREE PERSON.

Alice
|
Virginia, USA
November 1, 2009

Alice in Virginia writes:

I feel only rage as listen to Sec Clinton as she spoke with Netanyahu, stating the U.S. policy doesn't require the stopping the building of more settlement homes. I had felt encouraged as I attended the J St Conference. They are supporting Peace with a 2 state solution, ending the occupation, moving the settlers out of Palestine. They felt that Israel must stop building settlement in the Occupied land and building them outside that area. The Palestinians and the Arab Nations are waiting for U.S. to make good on what they were saying in the beginning. Words and no solid action. The statement I always get from U.S. is Israel needs to protect it's self, yes we all should right to protect ourselves, but with that come a responsibility not to oppress others with our strength.

Kenneth
|
United States
November 2, 2009

Kenneth in U.S.A. writes:

Why can't the US help set up a rulers council in Afghanistan a way of giving voice to all ethnicities.

This can be done as an addition to the current constitutional offices.

All of the tribal leaders from each ethnicity can elect a member to a rulers council, who would elect a new King each 3 years. The king would be head of state and would ratify supreme court justices but not have operational responsibility.

This would be a like what Malaysia another Muslim nation has done.

By working with the tribal leaders in this way we might be able to build some respect and also provide some long term check and balance.

Joe
|
Tennessee, USA
November 4, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

@ Donald:

Unfortunately Donald, the vices of man will never desist. We sometimes have to destroy to rebuild, even in personal human character. Differences which lead to problems culturally have to do with how respect is administered, which can also create problems. Should you respect the Ungodly? Who determines this?

The example of this is with same sex relationships. The Muslim and Islamic community is riveted in the Old Testament -- First four books -- and this ideology is totally unacceptable. It is considered demonic by all standards and found in some fifty four passages biblically that this is not the way of the Lord. If you recall reading ALL of Lawrence of Arabia, you will find at the end they make him a "male slave" to other men; it is a punishment and considered as evil, as a Christian he was considered evil, regardless of his love for the people. Are they wrong to think this?

Here in America we have large gay populations of Christians, even at protestant school chapels as Duke University. To the Islamic population, they see America as Deviant to the Lord of its own proposed God. Nothing you can say will change that. To insure respect on a human rights level, in America there have been many changes to adapt to the fact all people are created equal. This is only one cultural problem that is faced in what you deem as respect and how women are treated, well the Bible does claim that women are never more than forty nine percent, under any circumstances, yet here we have altered that writing. We have the problem of cast systems even here in America on an economic level, so we seem hypocritical culturally to the Europeans at the citizen level.

The world is not as you seem to envision Donald and unfortunately, many of the problems come from Leaders talking to Leaders, who respect each other, but their people do not share those same feelings on a professional level.

Respect is a nice word, how to apply it is the question.

Did you know that every report from the NCIX at one time had a biblical scripture above the first or opening page? What happened to our respect for God? How did the word God become Ungodly?

Nick
|
Colorado, USA
November 3, 2009

Nick in Colorado writes:

I agree with Alice. It seems that the Obama administration has many great words about holding Israel to account for settlement building (though not the killing of hundreds of Palestinian and Lebanese children). However, in the end, they seem to drift back to the same old thing (you can build settlements, just try to look responsible in doing so). Perhaps Mr. Abbas should have said "We accept your proposal as a basis for resuming talks, on the condition that you specify that these and other settlements are temporary and will be dismantled as part of the final status negotiations."

Normita
|
California, USA
November 3, 2009

Normita in California writes:

Great question from Secretary Clinton! As in nations with cultural differences, Muslims must embrace the reality of also respecting one another as a people. It means embracing how women and children should be recognized as equal, education for all, technological changes and, more importantly, other culture and traditions.

Before other countries can help them, they have to also help themselves in every aspect of their lives, peacefully.

Secretary Clinton, thank you for asking. May you be blessed with a loving heart to help bring peace in that part of the world's village. God bless you in your journey.

Normita, a proud hillaryvillager

joe
|
Tennessee, USA
November 4, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

American Standards are now premised in law, not religious morals or social moires.

The Arab world will never trust us for that reason alone...they will take advantage of any security related involvements which benefit them as well as economic ones; but, that is as far as it will go, no matter how many hands shaken, no matter how many agreements made.

Jack
|
Virginia, USA
November 4, 2009

Jack in Virginia writes:

Alice,

You are quite right. As I listened to the news coverage I wondered why she was congratulating them for doing something that is against our own and their own interests? On the settlements question, it's really quite simple: stop building them. If Israeli security is really the paramount issue, more settlements is not going to make Israel safer. Don't slow the settlements, stop them. Israel loses nothing - from a security stand point - by halting settlements. Yes, folks may pay a political price for doing so in Tel Aviv, but it's worth it. Negotiations such as these need confidence building measures. A halt to settlement construction is just such a measure. It gives up nothing on the security front and we should insist on it. Why the United States - who hold Israeli purse strings - won't hold them to it defies logic.

What would happen if we told the Israelis, "The check is NOT in the mail. No more funds until you stop the settlements." What would they do? It's a pretty risky move in this political climate, but I sometimes feel like we get far less for our dollar with Israel. It seems an increasingly one-way relationship and, while we cannot have a series dialogue about it here in the U.S., I hope folks at the top recognize that we are not going to make progress in the Middle East without push the Israelis (and the Palestinians) out of their respective comfort zones.

Jack

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