First circulated: 2010/06/09
Robert Gates the US Secretary of Defence seems to have touched a mode of thinking that, if allowed to see the light of day, might turn many of the American foreign policies to a more reasonable direction. He is opening the door to Western governments to consider that their policies might have something to do with why other countries “rift” away from friends to foes.
Earlier today, the BBC reported that Robert Gases stated:
“I personally think that if there is anything to the notion that Turkey is, if you will, moving eastward, it is, in my view, in no small part because it was pushed, and pushed by some in Europe refusing to give Turkey the kind of organic link to the West that Turkey sought.”
And then added:
“I think we have to think long and hard about why these developments in Turkey [occurred] and what we might be able to do to counter them.”
The significance I see in Gates’ statement is the critical mode of thinking that considers searching inward for explanations as opposed to simply blaming the other. Gates did not blame Islam; he did not say that the majority of Turks are Muslims and therefore they “hate our way of life”; i.e. he did not blame the other. He was inviting Europeans to consider that the West – and more specifically some European governments – might have done something to “push” Turkey away.
If this critical mode of thinking is allowed to become part of Western reactions to developments around the world – including in Palestine, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Cuba, North Korea; to mention just a few – it would serve the USA and the West in general well, and the world would become better for it.
Read and reflect:
Hope is the stuff from which life is made!