Cultures / Private Equity

Inside the fishbowl


39% of Americans hold a U.S. Passport.

I really shouldn’t have to go further than this one fact. With the recent tensions regarding Syria, and as an American living and working abroad, I felt compelled to weigh in.

In my opinion, nobody has the “right” answer. The history and background of the Middle East is extremely complex and goes back 2,000 years. There is nothing that is black and white and there isn’t a roster card to tell who the players are. Please don’t misunderstand me…nobody anywhere wants to see any civilian, let alone any child hurt. This alone is not enough to “punish” a sovereign nation or execute a missile strike. That’s the word they are using in the media…”punish.” Like a child.

The supporters say it’s a democracy’s obligation. I feel it’s more like “their obligation” when either their interests are threatened or there is something in it for them. People point to the French who came to our revolutionary cause against the English 200 years ago. I promise you there was an economic and international trade incentive to do so.

Personally, I feel the U.S. gave up the right to police the world a long time ago. There has to be another way.20130908-081313.jpg

As far as the economic results of the crisis, we are seeing the highest price for Crude Oil in years. This of course propels higher gas prices down the line. The events unfolding in Egypt and Syria have virtually destroyed the tourism trade there. It’s also not just about Dollars and Cents, what about cultural treasures. In 2001, the Taliban destroyed ancient statues of Buddha, and recently, although documented as a hoax, there were rumors of destroying the Egyptian pyramids. Damascus is the second oldest city on earth. It goes back thousands of years and where is the appreciation of its cultural value. By the way, no one has a patent on this cultural destruction; Napoleon’s troops destroyed the Sphinx’s nose for target practice. There needs to be respect for humanity.

The one man who has always made sense to me is President Bill Clinton. His Clinton Global Initiative belief is pretty simple. “Give people a future.” Make sure there is an opportunity for a family to have a safe roof over their head in sanitary conditions, a chance at providing for their family, and educate their children.

These are not American values. These aren’t religious values.

These are Human Rights.

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