Change the TV Channel…Coffee shop of American Foreign Policy

* 2 min read

As I said in my earlier blog, politics has been an obsession I inherited from my father. Political discussions have always been a major dialogue between my father and I. I grew up witnessing the passion of my father discussing politics. The passion that was/still so clearly manifested by his mood, tone of voice, hand movements, but most of all, my mother screaming at him to change the TV channel from the kitchen, a scene that is replaying itself when my girlfriend screams at me to change the TV channel. With this passion, he has personalized politics as many people personalize the wins and losses of their favorite sport teams.

I saw my father discussing political events in almost every social gathering- at home or at coffee shops, between family members, friends, or even strangers like taxi drivers, or barbers. Starting a political discussion was like talking about weather in Chicago. I saw his love of politics everywhere, because directly or indirectly, he has been a victim of national or international policies. As if his life in Iraq was only an experiment of another government’s policies.

I was a student attending those schools of coffee shop politics. I graduated from those coffee shops. I can honestly say that their interpretation and speculation of political events, analysis, insights, intellectual arguments, and reactions to presidential speeches exceeds by far any discussion at Georgetown University or other establishments.

Witnessing people debating then, sooner or later, screaming at each other to prove their points has been fascinating. Screaming continues to be a normal healthy sign of Middle Eastern people. Observing a group of elderly Assyrian people and listening to their insight when talking to each other is a very interesting experience. You will witness two or three people leading the discussion and trying to convince their friends, someone is nodding while another is screaming from the other side saying, “What channel are you watching?” While someone else is answering: “He doesn’t even speak English”. Or, the non-participants scream at all of them to continue the card game. Or the opponent strikes with an ad hominem attack by saying: “Did you pay George’s his money?”

Since childhood, I took my major from those schools was on American Foreign Policy. It fascinates me. I would like to continue my father’s political passion. I would like to carry the love of political discussions he instilled in me. I do this because I want his shadow to remain alive in me. As my father discussed politics at the coffee shops, I am sharing my political insight through blogging.

Researches tell us that investing 10,000 hours brings mastery in any field. Well, this has not been 10,000 hours for me; this has been a journey of 37 years. People in the Middle East continue talking about politics. They cannot keep themselves from talking about it because of that itching uncertainty of the future. They do this in hope of a better future. The political opinion inside them has to come out. It has to leave their body. They know they cannot change the future, but it makes them feel better talking about it.

Can anyone hold this against them? No! …They live in a region that turns darker every passing day, a cancer of violence that plagued the region since…

I see many people outraged and baffled by superficial contradictions in American Foreign policy, the selective implementation of certain policies over others, and the repeated mistakes of the past. I feel the emotional burden to share some of the political insights to the American people whose life extend further than Baseball and Budweiser. I guarantee that an average Assyrian kid in the north of Iraq will know more about politics then those Georgetownies. I try to blog to give some comforts to those who seek clarity and understanding in a chaotic world. I just hope American Foreign Policy stops repeating the past mistakes.

Here is the joke, but is it a joke? Back during Saddam’s time, you could be executed for talking about the government if anyone heard you, now no matter how much you talk about the government, nobody hears you.

* Any comments? write below. I love to read them.