Thanks once more, for the article that you sent me. I find it interesting to contrast the things I've been told about your country, and the reality that exist. Your country isn't at all what I expected it to be like. It's a lesson for us all to learn, to never judge an entire region or people before you have all the facts about them. I think I am guilty along with many Americans in misjudging your country and it's people. I'm glad that I know the truth, because it's the truth that sets one free. Right? America is indeed, some of the things that you mentioned, but much, much, more, also. It's true that segments Of our society are obsessed with sex and pornography. It's generated by money and greed. It's a billion dollar or more industry here, as it is throughout the West. Sex sells as they say, and there are always those who will seek to exploit it for profit. I think that it's not good for our children or society. Remember what you said about democracy going too far? This is true in this case. The people selling this, hide behind their "rights of free speech." There are many examples of this "false " political excuse. Everything that stands in the way of business is somehow infringing on someone's rights. This is used to justify just about everything. I don't consider myself "unusual," in the fact that I'm a religious person, with morals. America is a very religious country, of all faiths, who don't mirror their lives after societies values. There are churches, mosques, and synagogues, on every corner. I'm not a minority in my thinking. I feel bad that the image of my country is often depicted as what you see in the magazines and on the television. That isn't the reality, however. As for America's ignorance regarding the world around us. This is also true, to a point, as well. I can't agree with you that Americans are indifferent to our governments policies around the world, or that we're all in agreement with our governments foreign policies either. There are many Americans who don't agree with our president, and have protested against his policies. In America it's common to protest and to disagree with contrary viewpoints. Having said that, There are also many Americans who agree with the president's policies and actions. This is a democracy, with various viewpoints and opinions. I'm going to take a big chance, and express my viewpoint on the middle east policies. I shall start with the Palestinian situation. I hope as my friend, you will try to understand them. It's not necessary that you agree with them. That's what friendship is all about. When the topic comes up regarding the state of Israel and the Palestinian crisis, I have mixed emotions. Being part Jewish, but also part Christian as well, makes my feelings difficult to express. I believe that the Palestinian's deserve a homeland of their own, and this is their right to self govern their destiny. I feel for them and what they have been living with for so long now. I have a love in my heart for them as well. We are all people. On the other hand, I also feel that the state of Israel has the same right to exist as well. I have a connection to those people too. America is my home, but I have a religious connection in my heart to that land. That's where my faith was born. Do you understand? I can fully appreciate both sides and their different views. Regarding the Iraqi war. We were told by our government that saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons and was planning on using them against our country. After the terrorist attacks on 9/11, people were worried and outraged. I believe that it was a good thing that saddam Hussein was driven out of office for his own peoples sake. This man was not a very nice man to his people whatsoever. Since his capture, the Iraqi people have unmassed thousands of graves of the many people he had executed. I do wish our sons were not there. Regarding the issue of self interests, I think that there are a number of countries that have gained in this war besides the united states. France, Russia, and China were doing business with this dictator even when he had invaded his neighbor and tried to annexed Kuwait. They were selling him weapons and such. Politics are a terrible thing in my opinion. No ones hands are ever clean. What I can't understand Hussein, is the indifference to the plight of the Iraqis by their own neighbors. Did no one know what saddam Hussein was doing to his people? He used chemical weapons on the Kurds, and killed thousands. Men, woman, and children. It's a "selective" memory on the parts of the countries in the region. See what you have me doing now? I was calm when I started this, now I'm probably upsetting you by my words. That's why I hesitate to talk politics with you. I don't want to jeopardize our friendship. To me it's not worth it. People are more than their political viewpoints. I'm going to take a breath, and answer your question reading segregation in my next letter. I sure hope I didn't offend you my friend. That's not my intention. May God bless you and your family.