People that are not like "us" are really "not like us"
Bill Mahar - Love him or hate him, most people will at least find *something* to laugh about or agree with at least occasionally. In one of his "bits" a few years ago, he made an interesting observation about George Bush's view of the world and that he did not understand that "people that are not like us are really not like us". This was in reference to the government not understanding why a $25,000,000 reward was not effective in finding Osama bin Laden.
Last week, Gregory Rodriguez had a good column in the Los Angeles Times where he essentially reiterated the same thing. His column mentioned that because the U.S. is essentially a "melting pot" of people, religions, and cultures from all over the world, we usually get along and are tolerant of one another. But, to assume that people in other parts of the world share this tolerance and understanding of their fellow country-people that are some what different is a dangerous assumption.
While we have cultural street fairs and celebrate our heritage once a year (such as my own Scotch-Irish background), but then go back to barbequing with our British neighbors the next week.
"If for no other reason than to understand emerging threats, Americans will have to stop pretending that for most people around the globe, identity is something not just to celebrate -- once a year, at a street fair or during fill-in-the-blank history month -- but to die for." Take a look at Mr. Rodriguez' column
America's 'identity' blind spot: The American experience leaves the United States and its citizens unprepared to confront the global rise of ethnic nationalism and secessionism.