I would have thought that the vision shattering revelations of youth (there is no Santa Clause, people look ugly when they are naked) would fizzle eventually until, as an adult I would ease into a warm and fuzzy acceptance of “I’ve seen it all”. Well, I get older and every once in a while, I still have one of those conversations where you just get surprised.
So I was perusing (as I sometimes do) a Muslim chat room yesterday and came across a very nice young lady. She was 24 and married, living in Sarajevo. She was quite interesting as she was able to recount, first hand, some of the atrocities that took place there. She was pretty cool and well traveled, educated (with a masters degree in economics), modern in many ways and actually married to a Christian man (kind of remarkable given her religiously volatile surroundings). We shared some pleasant small talk banter, covering music, books and sports. Apparently she was a world class figure skater in training, as a little girl, until the war came of course.
And then, as all nice conversations do, we took a wrong turn at Albuquerque as it accidentally drifted to politics. At one point, she let it slip that she went to visit Canada last year. She was going to visit the United States as well, but changed her mind. I asked her why she did not want to visit the U.S. and she replied, “I would never spend any money that would go to your country”. As you can imagine, I was surprised to hear this. I pointed out, what I though to be the obvious, that U.S. soldiers lost their lives in order to liberate her people. Not to mention, the U.S. was directly responsible for saving her from the very atrocities, she had only moments before recounted. Why would she feel this way? To my amazement, she stated that it was not the United States that did this, it was Bill Clinton. She is forever grateful to him. Now that he is gone, she wants nothing more to do with us. I mentioned that we still have our military in the region, which play a big part in keeping things from tumbling back to where they were only a few years ago. She said that they are there in order to maintain control of the region, just like we are in Iraq… and then she referenced the Michael Moore movie.
So here is the thing, the holes in her logic are obviously of Grand Canyon proportions, but that is not the point. The point is that she did not come to these conclusions herself. Our own media, our own filmmakers, convince the very people who should be eternally grateful, to hate us.