Sunday, March 02, 2008

Another reason to love Obama

So, I didn't think I could support Obama any more than I already did, but I fell in love with his politics all over again when I read this today on his website's Community Blog. It is from his Town Hall meeting in Parma, Ohio last night.

One woman whose father is currently serving in Iraq asked Barack how he would "get the fear out of the American people." Barack responded:

Our job on the military front is to go after those who would do us harm. We also need to strengthen our homeland security, which we still have not fully done. We need to make ports secure, make sure chemical and nuclear plants are properly guarded.

...What is probably going to be most important for us in the long term is to regain the trust of the 1.3 Muslims in the world. We need to build schools, help dig wells in countries that don't have drinkable water, and assist in providing public health for people with HIV/AIDS. When we send the message that we are interesting in helping them improve their lives, you will see an improvement in our image on the world stage.

...America is at its best when it's not fearful. Our most shameful times are when people are afraid. We need a president who projects the confidence of America -- our values and our ideals.

I believe that this is such a wonderful response to America's problem in the world today. I'm so glad to see someone with the chance to be this country's next president recognize how crucial education is changing the world's understanding and perception of America and the West.

Have you read Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin? Do it. When Muslim students in Pakistan and Afghanistan (specifically, but clearly elsewhere, as well) have NO school to go to, because their government has clogged the system and not allowed money or supplies to be sent, mostly to the rural areas of their country, for the building of a school or the salary of a qualified teacher, the children instead go to their next best option, a madrassa. A madrassa in this sense is an Islamic religious school. While not a problem in and of itself - many students of madrassas go on to become imams and other religious leaders - in the Himalayan region of Pakistan and Afghanistan, many of the teachers there are Muslim fundamentalists who teach their own interpretation of the Qur'an, including, often, the belief in a reward of 72 virgins waiting in heaven for those who are martyrs in jihad, along with a hatred toward things Western.

How much change could come if this country started acting towards others in a way that was more about helping and improving instead of fighting wars to protect our "imperial claims?"

If you don't support Obama already, and hey, even if you do, please go learn more about him.

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