Today I wrapped up a business trip in India and had the pleasure of visiting the Taj Mahal with a colleague. I also had the pleasure of talking about the world at large with Sanjay, our tour guide in Agra. Sanjay shed new light on my knowledge of the American Revolution. He said that many in the world greatly admired the United States after it successfully gained independence from England in 1776. And the US inspired many other countries, like India, to also seek independence.
I wish the US could continue to inspire people rather than hurt them.
In Greg Mortenson's book "Three Cups of Tea", one Pakistani says regarding the US-Iraq war "I'm a moderate Muslim, an educated man. But watching this, even I could become a jihadi. How can Americans say they are making themselves safer? Your President Bush has done a wonderful job of uniting one billion Muslims against America for the next two hundred years."
In response to Greg's retort saying "Osama had something to do with it, too." The Pakistani goes on to say "Osama, baah! Osama is not a product of Pakistan or Afghanistan. He is a creation of America. Thanks to America, Osama is in every home. As a military man, I know you can never fight and win against someone who can shoot at you once and then run off and hide while you have to remain eternally on guard. You have to attack the source of your enemy's strength. In America's case, that's not Osama or Saddam or anyone else. The enemy is ignorance. The only way to defeat it is to build relationships with these people, to draw them into the modern world with education and business. Otherwise the fight will go on forever.
These words ring true whereas much of what President Bush has had to say has not.
I highly recommend that everyone buy a copy of Greg's book and read it. It is chock full of insights and real truths. Please read it and let ignorance fade away in the light of reason and accurate information. The truth shall set us free.