Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Modern Eye

It has often been remarked upon that we have difficulty seeing events through the eyes of another culture. However, I've rarely seen such a classic case of this as one LTG H Steven Blum, of the US National Guard, who visited Masada in Israel. His first quote is a little odd, but I can forgive it; he's explaining to an audience who may not know of much outside the US:

"Masada is roughly analogous in importance to the Israelis as the Alamo is to Texas”.

However, it's with his second quote that I have to stop and scratch my head and wonder if he understood any of what he was seeing there:

"It really helps you understand the history of this region, the millennium-long struggles that have gone on for democracy and individual rights and freedoms".

I really can't comprehend the mindset that would lead him to say that. Does he really think Masada was about "democracy"?