Tuesday, October 02, 2007

U.S.A. and Qatar = Partners or Threats

Some very interesting things have been in the news lately about the Arabian Gulf region. Focus has been primarily on Dubai and Qatar for their entrepreneurial spirit and expansive growth. The Financial Times carried one article a couple of weeks ago and CNBC carried an interview with Qatar's First Deputy Prime Minister just today (October 2, 2007).

Browse these media commentaries and then think critically about the messages we are receiving. Are we encouraged to see the U.S.A. and countries like Qatar as partners or are we encouraged to see the growing and developing countries of the Arabian Gulf and East as threats to security in the U.S.A.? Specifically, the CNBC interview raises the specter of Qatar and other emerging Arabian Gulf countries buying out the west. Yet, the Deputy Prime Minister of Qatar raises the question of why the U.S.A. military forces can place their Arabian Gulf headquarters on Qatari soil while at the same time economists express concern that the U.S.A. doesn't know who it can trust when it comes to foreign investments in U.S.A. and European markets. So, which way is it? Some of these stories make it seem as if worldwide investing is suspect or threatening when, in fact, the U.S.A. has been doing the same thing for almost a century. The tables have turned and some other countries now own a piece of us (U.S.A.). Yes, it takes us potentially out of control of our own destiny. Yes, it means that others may prosper as much as we have in the U.S.A. But what's to fear if the U.S.A. has the capacity for innovation and competition that it says it has?

I don't mean for this post to be overly derogatory about U.S.A. media and interests. What I hope it does is to encourage us to consider the motivations of our commentators and public figures. I dare say that this is but one small example of the growing globalization that has now taken the planet. We are part of it and we need to figure out how to engage with other equal partners as we shape a future that can benefit greater numbers of citizens throughout the world.

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