Category Archives: colonialism or humanitarianism

Global Freedom

Freedom sounds as easy as breathing, but it’s not. Freedom is decisions made over and over again. Global freedom is another issue entirely. We’re not talking about our own freedom here. When we use force to set other people free, when we ask other nations with other beliefs to accept our notions of freedom – ethnic freedom, religious freedom, freedom for women and children – are we actually interfering with that culture’s freedom to choose. We are, perhaps, doing this for selfish reasons, to protect our own freedoms which are threatened by and our apparently threatening to other cultures. Can you use force to make people free? Can you use force to set people free? Is it a matter of semantics, in other words, beliefs and intentions? If you really intend to free rather than subjugate is it OK to use force? Do we just respond when our own liberties are threatened by other groups or do we take the offensive either diplomatically or militarily – make preemptive strikes against those who like to suck away freedom from others? I can’t believe that I sound like I’m talking myself into being a hawk? I am not a hawk. I am someone who likes things to be “fair”.

If I had to wear a burka I would hate it. But I hear Muslim women who say it is part of their religion and they don’t mind. Of course, I hear other Muslim women who sound like they hate the burka and actually feel like prisoners inside of the traditional clothing and the traditional rules for Muslim women. Some educated Muslim women who experienced life free from these restraints apparently became suicidal when they once again had to follow traditional Muslim rules for women. Do we just say to ourselves “stay out of it, it’s none of our business” or would we then be like one of those people who looks the other way if they see a crime or abuse? Freedom is certainly hard.