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Show ALL Forums  > Politics  > Hmmm... Why can't we just learn to respect others' culture?      Home login  
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 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 1
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Hmmm... Why can't we just learn to respect others' culture?Page 1 of 1    
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/22/afghanistan-protests-turn-violent_n_1292935.html
Afghanistan: Dozens Wounded In Demonstrations Over Quran-Burning At NATO Base
(Excerpt)
Critics say Western troops often fail to grasp the country's religious and cultural sensitivities. Demonstrations by as many as 2,000 people broke out as word of the find spread.

Police said most injuries were caused by flying stones and sticks hurled by protesters. Demonstrators had charged police lines and nearby military bases at a protest on the edge of Kabul, burning tyres and smashing vehicles and building windows.

Protesters shouted "Death to America!" and "Death to (President Hamid) Karzai" in a large demonstration on the outskirts of the Afghan capital.

"When the Americans insult us to this degree, we will join the insurgents," said Ajmal, an 18-year-old protester in Kabul.


http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/02/21/koran-burning-draws-nato-apology-afghanistan_n_1290200.html
'Koran Burning' Draws Nato Apology After Furious Protests In Afghanistan
(Excerpt)
The US commander of Nato troops in Afghanistan has apologized after copies of the Koran were sent to be burned in a rubbish pit.

The Korans were left in the rubbish and transported in a lorry by coalition soldiers to a pit on the Bagram air base, 60km north of Kabul, where waste is burned.

According to the BBC, five Afghans working at the pit noticed the religious books in the pile, and retrieved them. Photos of the books released by news wires showed them with partially burned pages.

Large-scale protests of up to 2,000 people erupted outside the base in response to the news.

People threw fire bombs and stones at the base, while the Reuters news service said flares were fired from helicopters to disperse the crowd.

The base where the books were burned is already controversial in Afghanistan because it has been accused of mistreating and torturing suspected Taliban fighters.

In his statement, General John R. Allen said: "when we learned of these actions, we immediately intervened and stopped them".

The general ordered an investigation and promised that the actions were not intentional.


As Seeger and Hickerson would say ... "When will they ever learn .... when will they ever learn?"
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 2
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Hmmm... Why can't we just learn to respect others' culture?
Posted: 2/27/2012 4:24:29 PM

I sincerely hope no coalition troops are killed because of this.
Too late ... they're picking off coalition troops left and right!

Anybody ever hear of putting the brain in gear before taking action?

They were talking about "sensitivity training" ... I thought they went through that before they deployed. Cripies ... they could do some of that ... even the part about religious sensitivity ... on the flight over ... eh?
 part deux
Joined: 11/11/2008
Msg: 3
Hmmm... Why can't we just learn to respect others' culture?
Posted: 2/27/2012 4:49:09 PM
It is also possible that the books were a 'plant'. I am not trying to be conspiracy theory here, it would be a smart propaganda move on the part of someone who wanted to forment unrest. Or if they were in rubble, it is entirely possible that the people who dumped them didn't even know they were there.
And, no unfortunately we can't seem to respect eachothers cultures. This is universal, not just western. Remember, the Taliban destroyed the large rock carvings in Afghanistan of Budda, carvings that were considered to be a 'wonder of the world', as they were deemed to be offensive to Islam.
I am not trying to defend anyone's actions here, I just think that there could be variables to the scenario.
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
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Hmmm... Why can't we just learn to respect others' culture?
Posted: 2/27/2012 5:12:29 PM

I am not trying to defend anyone's actions here, I just think that there could be variables to the scenario.
I have to agree with that statement.

I really believe if they were thinking past the end of their noses, they would have shredded the books long before they ever reached the trash pit for the Afghan workers to find. I can't help but believe this was done on purpose ... so the Afghan workers would find the books burning there ... knowing full well it would be a way (just as p1ssing on dead bodies) to insult them.

I also believe they had no real idea just how the Afghan people would respond ... mostly because they are just idiots when it comes to respecting others' cultures. I see this kind of idiocy in Europe where we have troops stationed ... Germany for one.

There are soldiers there who behave appropriately and well-mannered and it's a pleasure to see them as representatives of our country. Then there are others that you see and you wish with all your heart that they would have just stayed in the US ... under the rock they crawled out from under when they joined the military and actually thought they could be a good representative of our country. It's downright shameful. And I do know of what I speak ... I lived there for 10 years unaffiliated with the military and so I know what the German people think of their sometimes inappropriate and brash behavior. It is truly a shame that we send such idiots to foreign countries to represent us ... a true embarrassment.

*********************************

To the post below ...
I just don't know how realistic it is to expect them to be culturally sensitve.
I recently spoke with a gentleman who had done two tours in Iraq and he told me they do "sensitivity training" with absolutely everyone who goes to over there. He also told me that they do it numerous times during the tour as well.

He said they get the sensitivity training right before they deploy, there is more of it during transport, then again right after they arrive at their specified point and then again every 2 to 3 months they call them back in and do more sensitivity training. He basically told me that if an incident occurs it's either on purpose or someone was truly sleeping through every single time it was presented.

He said there is no way you can't get the picture about the cultural differences.
 part deux
Joined: 11/11/2008
Msg: 5
Hmmm... Why can't we just learn to respect others' culture?
Posted: 2/27/2012 5:31:09 PM
My parent's are from Germany ( Zweibruken), and I heard the stories. Public urination, jumping on car hoods, being sexually agressive with the women ( this is all while drunk). To be honest, America treats their soldiers like s**t. They employ a lot of poor kids, with little education or options, and send them away to be turned into hamburger, offering little to no support to the families or veterans, all the while spouting " I support the troops". Yeah, I support the troops by sending my kids to a good school, so they will never have to join the army.
These kids are risking their lives in Afghanistan, for a situation their own govt. created as they assisted the Taliban to take power. I just don't know how realistic it is to expect them to be culturally sensitve.
As I stated before, really not trying to condone anyone's actions, just being a realist.
EDIT: I agree with you completely. it is just that I question the abilites of *some* of the soldiers to be able to process and internalize what they have learned. I am not absolving them of their actions at all.
 flyguy51
Joined: 8/11/2005
Msg: 6
Hmmm... Why can't we just learn to respect others' culture?
Posted: 2/28/2012 7:53:21 AM
Cultural sensitivity is important, don't get me wrong, but there seems to be a big double standard being exemplified here. Awhile back, an unwanted Bible shipment was discarded by burning:

http://forums.plentyoffish.com/datingPosts12386149.aspx

The non Christians here defended that action, and I fully understand that. However, once the Koran is substituted in, it is treated as a virtual crime against humanity. Respect is a two way street-- how is respect being shown to non Muslims when random officials are being murdered for a nonviolent, admittedly mistaken disposal process with admittedly unfortunate symbolic connotations? Does anyone acknowledge the total lack of proportion here?

You seem to be unconsciously holding Muslims to a much lower standard of understanding and restraint than Christians when it comes to things like this.
 flyguy51
Joined: 8/11/2005
Msg: 7
Hmmm... Why can't we just learn to respect others' culture?
Posted: 2/28/2012 8:57:19 AM
Blade, I appreciate the information, and I have no doubt there was a lot of pooch screwing going on here, but it is beside my point-- which is that Cotter will readily identify US Christians as "kooky nutcases" over mere indignation, while Muslims who murder by association over, again, a nonviolent symbolic offense are framed as victims of cultural insensitivity. No one here points a finger at the indiscriminate gunmen. Everyone must tip toe ever so lightly around their numerous sensitive spots, or else suffer the murderous consequences, it seems. It is expected, and, sadly, seems to be accepted by default. By the way, the act of murdering by association is usually associated with violent racism.

Face it, we have come to expect a lesser level of behavior and understanding from certain Muslim groups than we do almost everyone else-- that is the elephant in the room here.
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
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Hmmm... Why can't we just learn to respect others' culture?
Posted: 2/28/2012 6:52:51 PM

Cotter will readily identify US Christians as "kooky nutcases" over mere indignation, while Muslims who murder by association over, again, a nonviolent symbolic offense are framed as victims of cultural insensitivity.
Don't forget, we are "visitors" over there ... actually trespassers. It's our duty to be respectful of their culture when we are not "at home". Then we broke their law by allowing some idiot to send illegal reading material over there for the purpose of proselytizing to the people. We need to apologize for that.

By the way, the act of murdering by association is usually associated with violent racism.
I suppose that all depends on how one views such things. Just what do you think we're doing over there? And when you answer that question, please be honest with us and with yourself.

We are murdering by association when you understand that the Afghans did not fly any jets into the twin towers.

Face it, we have come to expect a lesser level of behavior and understanding from certain Muslim groups than we do almost everyone else-- that is the elephant in the room here.
No ... the elephant in the room here are people who insist we have a right to be over there murdering innocent people either directly or via drone.
 Yule_liquor
Joined: 12/7/2011
Msg: 9
Hmmm... Why can't we just learn to respect others' culture?
Posted: 2/28/2012 7:29:14 PM
^

We are murdering by association when you understand that the Afghans did not fly any jets into the twin towers.


If Mullah Omar had handed OBL over to the US when we 'politely' asked him to; I doubt the US would have invaded. Irrespective of whether or not they were the ones who "flew the jets", they were harboring AQ's chief execute officer as their guest, and chose to 'have his back'. The rest is now history!

As far as the Koran burnings go; given the low level of common sense that exists within the lower echelon of the US army; it is surprising that such calamities don't happen more often! We've seen it in Iraq (abu garaib prison incident)and I'm sure we'll see such things again. Unfortunately the Army doesn't get to recruit the sharpest tools in the shed among the US youth.
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
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Hmmm... Why can't we just learn to respect others' culture?
Posted: 2/28/2012 8:16:47 PM


We are murdering by association when you understand that the Afghans did not fly any jets into the twin towers.

If Mullah Omar had handed OBL over to the US when we 'politely' asked him to; I doubt the US would have invaded.
It was not alone the US that went into Afghanistan and it is not alone the US who is still there.

As for whether or not the US would have invaded ... you forget who was President when it all happened? Shoot 'em up first and ask questions later was/is his motto/MO. That idiot was looking for a fight with someone and given that he wasn't finding a good reason to invade Iraq (his true goal) at that time, Afghanistan was convenient.

Do you forget how once he ("Dumbya") got his "go ahead" for Iraq, he let Afghanistan fall to the wolves? He never really cared about getting OBL and actually said as much, but he was thrilled to have the excuse to go to war with someone and then push his (illegal) invasion of Iraq.

With his buying of prisoners and torturing of them, he actually played straight into OBL's hands. We started out the invasion with hideous behavior and as we see, it continues.
 .dej
Joined: 11/6/2007
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Hmmm... Why can't we just learn to respect others' culture?
Posted: 2/28/2012 9:40:40 PM
****ing hilarious. It's unfortunate that the troops didn't realize the Quran is disposed of differently than we dispose of things (we dispose of worn American flags by burning), and they thought that's how the Quran is disposed of as well. Obviously they were wrong, but this whole "problem" is an exercise in hypocrisy.

The Qurans were taken from the prisoners because they were passing messages in them between inmates. Note that Islam strictly forbids desecrating the Quran in such a way, but no, we need to viciously react to the Americans stopping the inmates from a) desecrating the Quran in pursuit of b) violence.

If you really think this "demonstration" has a damned thing to do with anything the Americans do, it can only be because that's what you really want to believe. Just another excuse. This has nothing to do with Americans disrespecting other cultures.
 Yule_liquor
Joined: 12/7/2011
Msg: 12
Hmmm... Why can't we just learn to respect others' culture?
Posted: 2/29/2012 6:54:40 AM

As for whether or not the US would have invaded ... you forget who was President when it all happened? Shoot 'em up first and ask questions later was/is his motto/MO. That idiot was looking for a fight with someone and given that he wasn't finding a good reason to invade Iraq (his true goal) at that time, Afghanistan was convenient.


It didn't matter who was president at the time that the ultimatum was made; Al Gore would have made the same demand had he been the president, at least I hope he would have! The choice was to give up OBl or be invaded; and they chose to be invaded. I'm not disputing Gwb's ill decision to invade Iraq, which was done for a whole different reason. If Mullah Omar had OBL arrested and turned him over, his Taliban regime would still be in place!
...............................................................
At dej


The Qurans were taken from the prisoners because they were passing messages in them between inmates.


So the question to be asked is why were these prisoners being allowed to share korans. Im sure as hell that there is no shortage of korans in that part of world for each man to have his own


Note that Islam strictly forbids desecrating the Quran in such a way, but no, we need to viciously react to the Americans stopping the inmates from a) desecrating the Quran in pursuit of b) violence.


That can't be used as an excuse, because what you are missing here is that it is one thing if an "insider" desecrates what is dear to them, but it is entirely a different if it is done by an outsider, especially one that is not of that faith. Its sort of like if you desecrate something dear to you for whatever reason, compared to seeing someone else desecrating something you hold dear who has no business doing so.
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
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Hmmm... Why can't we just learn to respect others' culture?
Posted: 2/29/2012 8:32:01 PM

... the troops didn't realize the Quran is disposed of differently than we dispose of things (we dispose of worn American flags by burning), and they thought that's how the Quran is disposed of as well.
LMAO ... nice try. Points awarded for the effort to mislead us, but you forget most of us really do have contact with any number of military personnel who have been there and know exactly that NATO troops are to respect the culture there ... no exceptions.


This has nothing to do with Americans disrespecting other cultures.
Yes it does. Most of us get that ... some just choose to never get it.


Getting a little sidetracked arent you?
Of course they are.

People here DONT want any coalition troops to be hurt because of stuff like this.
That's the truth ... troops make dumb moves - things they know will cause problems. (That or they just are not capable of thinking past the end of their noses). Next thing we know, we have innocent troops being killed and then we have people actually sitting in here making up excuses for the stuuuuupid behaviors.

I suppose the next thing they will come up with is that "Well if you had to be over there in that environment you'd think differently ... yadda, yadda, yadda." They continue to forget we were the aggressors and invaded them. If you want the poor bystanders who neither flew a plane into a tower, nor helped to support the OBL culture to accept our presence there, then we just have to show some respect.

We don't have a choice and we don't have a right to do otherwise.
 .dej
Joined: 11/6/2007
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Hmmm... Why can't we just learn to respect others' culture?
Posted: 3/1/2012 8:47:36 PM

LMAO ... nice try. Points awarded for the effort to mislead us, but you forget most of us really do have contact with any number of military personnel who have been there and know exactly that NATO troops are to respect the culture there ... no exceptions.

Hah. This sounds like "yeah, but.... I know you're wrong... I just do".


That can't be used as an excuse, because what you are missing here is that it is one thing if an "insider" desecrates what is dear to them, but it is entirely a different if it is done by an outsider, especially one that is not of that faith. Its sort of like if you desecrate something dear to you for whatever reason, compared to seeing someone else desecrating something you hold dear who has no business doing so.

From a practical standpoint this is true. From a "respecting cultures" or ethical standpoint it isn't really part of the context.
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
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Hmmm... Why can't we just learn to respect others' culture?
Posted: 3/2/2012 1:17:15 PM


LMAO ... nice try. Points awarded for the effort to mislead us, but you forget most of us really do have contact with any number of military personnel who have been there and know exactly that NATO troops are to respect the culture there ... no exceptions.


Hah. This sounds like "yeah, but.... I know you're wrong... I just do".
Actually, I wouldn't even consider writing what I did without knowing FOR SURE (since I deal with any number/any age of ME war vets) that all troops/personnel who are sent to the ME are subjected to sensitivity training ... a number of times.

It appears that some take it seriously and some simply decide that Muslims are below them and do not deserve the same respect they would expect if the situation were turned around. I have also heard (not from ALL, but from several ME vets), that it was counter-productive in basic training to be instilled with "hate, loathing, abhorrence, repugnance"

Aside from the fact that we had no business going over there to begin with … now that we're there it is of utmost importance that we respect their culture. We do not want any (more) of our NATO troops killed because of disrespecting their culture especially when it’s so easy not to make such mistakes.


That can't be used as an excuse, because what you are missing here is that it is one thing if an "insider" desecrates what is dear to them, but it is entirely a different if it is done by an outsider, especially one that is not of that faith. Its sort of like if you desecrate something dear to you for whatever reason, compared to seeing someone else desecrating something you hold dear who has no business doing so.

From a practical standpoint this is true. From a "respecting cultures" or ethical standpoint it isn't really part of the context.
Try telling that to an older relative or parent as they sit while you go through their things and discard things in preparation for them to go to the nursing home or assisted living or even as you prepare them to move into a limited space in your own home.

In the case of the Korans, it has everything to do with it. What they do with them in their own areas, in their own country within their own religious views is their own business. If they supposedly "desecrate" or "mistreat" their own religious books for the sake of sending each other messages, that's on them. If we determine that is detrimental to our security there, then we can remove the "desecrated or mistreated" books, but we need to follow their rules for destroying them.

I think too, it would have helped if the inmates had been told ... "We know what you were doing, we have removed the books, and they will be destroyed in an appropriate manner so that you can no longer do that." Then we should have proceeded by truly doing that.
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