Friday, October 29, 2010

Friedman Gets it Right all the Time

I've been following Thomas Friedman's writings for some time now, and I've come to the conclusion that many of his writings should be 'required reading' for some of our MP's and Ministers. Set aside his forward-thinking books on the flatness of the world's economy for a minute, and consider how this man's opinions are clear and applicable not only to the U.S.A., but for our own tiny Kuwait.

Take a recent example; Some of those MP loudmouths that preach the necessity for religious tolerance, openness and the virtues of Islam should closely read his article on New York City's decision to build a mosque two blocks away from Ground Zero. It's not about showing off your will and message as a Muslim in a land that secures your rights to follow any religion you chose while your own country refuses to even expand an existing Church, nor is it about spreading the word of the One True God as you know it while you curse and condemn anyone that follows any other religion. It's about setting an example for everyone in the world, that while you may differ on many issues, you have a right-as a human being-to express your beliefs openly and freely, without fear of repercussions.

Another example we should credit to Friedman is his take on the existing stalled peace process between Israel and Palestine. In one of his more recent recent articles, he criticizes both the Palestinians and the Israelis in a way that is not only painfully true, but also very enlightening for our so called Leaders, who will willingly attend any summit for the cameras, but in reality, wont lift a finger to save a 3- year old child dying from a wound sustained from a sniper's bullet!

The one article that really boggled my mind and touched my senses more than anything else was his March 20 article, entitled "America's Real Dream Team", wherein he comments the U.S. Government's policy of Immigration as a vital element in surpassing competitors like China in the race to succeed in the 21st Century. It got me thinking about our own problems with the Stateless people, the Bidoon, who are constantly being sidelined and shadowed by other, more pressing issues by the MP's that are supposed to represent their cause. 

I've written before that Kuwait, like the U.S., is a country of immigrants. However, unlike the U.S., there are no indigenous Kuwaitis at all in Kuwait, this is a misunderstood and misguiding term, no matter who you think you are! There are those that 'came before' and those that 'came after' certain milestones of Kuwait's history, such as the building of the three defense walls, or the discovery of Oil, or even the Iraqi Occupation. In time, and with the rise of proper social and judicial law and order, they became incorporated into what is now knows as Kuwait, but their roots still extend back to their ancestral lands; Arabia, Iraq, Persia/Iran and so on.

Not all of them are leeches sucking on the country's natural resources, as some may characterize them. In fact, some are quite intelligent, and highly educated in Medicine and Science, and should be given an equal chance at contributing to the country's development as the other Kuwaitis. It would be of great positive influence for us as a 'Democratic' country to offer them the chance to do just that, if only our leaders would understand that much!.Coupled with proper social development and infrastructure, we as a society would becoe the melting pot of enlightenment that we used to be back in the 1960's, if not more so.

To quote Friedman;  “If we can just get a few things right — immigration, education standards, bandwidth, fiscal policy — maybe we’ll be O.K.”. Hat's off to you, Thomas!

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