Friends? Sometimes you have to just move on.

"You've really changed... It's as if we don't even know each other anymore."

Those words can put a dagger into the heart of just about any relationship. It could happen to teens after a summertime separation. It could happen to high school sweethearts after a year away at college, but it could also happen to a couple that has been married and living together for 30 or 40 years. Whatever the reason, people change and they can grow distant.

Whose fault is it? Who changed? Was it random change, or was it growth? What if one person in a relationship finds religion where the couple had previously shared a no-holds-barred, hedonistic lifestyle? Would that relationship last? If they break up, do you blame the now pious one, or do you blame the one that has not changed? Does anyone need to be blamed?

If there are children involved and the two decide to stay together "for the sake of the kids" but they constantly bicker, fight, and start hurting each other, what is the benefit?

I thought about this relationship scenario this past week after the news reports of Muslims in Afghanistan rioting and killing two American servicemembers after security personnel destroyed Qurans that had been defaced by prisoners writing in them. When word got out that this had happened, all hell broke loose. Two of our troops were killed in cold blood along with many civilians. Then last weekend, another two military officers were assassinated by a person inside of a very secure compound in the Interior Ministry in Kabul.

And why were these people going off the deep end? Because someone burned the Muslim equivalent of our Bible? Are you kidding me? When the Sunnis bomb a Shiite mosque in Baghdad, do they clear out the Qurans before they detonate? No, this really has no more to do with desecrating their holy book than it does when a wife goes ape-$%&# crazy when hubby comes home after an evening at the pub with the boys.

What we are seeing is the death throes of a relationship between Western Civilization and the Middle East. The last dying gasps. So what should we do? Rush the beleaguered pair to "intensive care" to lie in a state of sovereign denial until it all blows up? Or should we just sever the deal and walk away?

It is obvious that with each passing day, the radical elements of Islam are taking over that religion like a metastasizing cancer. Those that resist are either suppressed, run out of the country as refugees to places like the US or they are exterminated. There is no middle ground. This is a relationship that cannot be mended.

When one member of a group negotiates from a conviction that he can lie, cheat and deceive because his people has God on their side, nothing good can come of it... especially if the others in the negotiation are used to dealing with people who will stand behind their negotiated agreement. This is the case with these people. Free will is a distant concept when everyone is still closely tied to a tribe and tribal mentality rules. Many of their people who are 'enlightened' have already left, leaving the weakest behind.

I do not want to launch into a treatise about the battle between radical Islam and the rest of the world. We know that battle is looming and inevitable. What I want to say is that it is time for the US, Canada, Australia, civilized Europe and other allied states to extricate themselves from countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and others where we have tried to help and have given the 'non-crazies' every opportunity to turn things around.

I know that my 'friends' who like to debate me will say that America's heavy hand is responsible for the blowback from these throwbacks. But, like I asked in my opening paragraph, is it necessary to affix blame? We can cite examples of atrocities from both sides, followed by "yeah, buts" going back in time through the Ottoman wars, the Crusades, Arabian internecine conflicts, Romans legions in Judea, Abraham and Ishmael... all the way back to Adam and Eve. That is a lot of blame to throw around.

But, is blame such a precious moral possession? Is being right so lofty a mantle that hundreds of generations must suffer life in agony while a very few self-appointed prophets get to argue over who gets to sit at the right side of whichever God they believe in?

Why do we, the Western civilized people, even care? Is it oil? Is it Israel. Is it the number of lives lost since global Jihad was declared? None of these issues even existed 100 years ago, so why does it matter now?

Why don't we decide that the blood and treasure expended in the Middle and Far East over the past several decades were the price we paid to discover the truth that many souls are lost and are never to be recovered? Let us not worry about oil. There are plenty of sources of energy to replace what we would lose from abandoning all contact with nations in the Islamic world. I am not so naive to imagine that if we just walked away from these savages that they would leave us in peace. They are driven by their religion to conquer the world and they will stop at nothing to achieve their destiny.

We, the civilized people, must draw a bold line in the sand around modern Islamia and declare that we will not tolerate their savage behavior outside this boundary. Leave them, within their own borders, to fight amongst themselves, to desecrate each other's religious houses, to oppress their women, to stone homosexuals and slaughter anyone who doesn't believe as they do. Surely, this ugly fate is coming our way if we do not stop its malignant growth.

But, we cannot stop there. Such as they want to expel the Christian and Jewish evil from their land, we cannot tolerate their behavior in our land. We must hand them their heads when they offend our sensitivities. Society can exist in peaceful equilibrium only when the vast majority of people share the same values. Toleration is not a workable solution. Yes, we can tolerate other's petty differences, but existential threats transcend tolerance. It is time to focus our considerable military might toward protecting our way of life, not toward protecting a sea lane from a group of seventh century religious lunatics.

Those who loath the United States can take care of themselves in our absence. Those wackos who protest any form of energy production can go live in a hut or a tent in the desert (preferably the Arabian desert.) The modern protest movement is fueled (pardon the pun) by the very greatness that the protesters despise. Isn't it ironic and hypocritical of them? Stop tolerating these people, too.

Our dependence on Middle Eastern oil is only about 60 years old. If we decided to do so, we could stop buying Arabian oil in one or two years. We just need the will to make it happen. The US can help and ally with its true friends around the world, leaving any other country to fend for themselves.

To end this blog post before it becomes a book, we need a serious reevaluation of America's WHY. We have lost our way. We seem to be driven by cause and effect... international Whack-A-Mole. Let's recenter ourselves and rediscover WHY we exist and WHY so many want to come here. Even those that despise us what to live here. Once we realize WHY we exist and perpetuate, we need to protect it at all costs.

As an example, let's quit worrying about the Iranians. We should tell them what we will do, in no uncertain terms, if they violate our sovereignty and the sovereignty of our allies. Then, the first time that they test the boundaries, hit them hard, otherwise, leave them alone. Soon they will be fighting the Saudis over petty religious BS since we will have removed the bigger enemy from their playground. 

This is not a patriotic vs. unpatriotic thing. This is not a liberal vs. conservative thing either. This is not a revenge play. This is a survival move that can buy us some time. Just look at those crowds in Kabul. See the rage in the faces of the hoards in Cairo. Observe the rioters in Kuala Lumpur. Think about over 30 million Saudis being unleashed when their King's power wanes. Are these people we call our friends? Can we reason with them? Do we want them living next door?

They've really changed... It's as if we don't even know each other anymore.

Comments

Craig Hollins said…
We've had these conversations before but there are two main problems with US foreign policy.
First, it is driven by resources and business. When you have an entire economy dependent on foreign energy it's hard to be objective when operating in those areas. I'll believe the US will act altruistically in foreign matters when I see them sending troops in to prevent human suffering when there are no strategic or economic resources to be had.
Second, the US operates double standards. It's like telling your kids not to smoke when you're a 60 per day smoker.
The US insists on quelling religious extremism in Islamic countries but encourages Christian extremism at home. Look at how the GOP debates are more about birth control and abortion than economics. Or is that because the economy is starting to look good so they have to divert attention?
Ban ALL forms of religious expression in government and you have a chance of getting along at a government level. Otherwise you're just waiting for the next religious difference to blow up into a war.
I agree with you - leave them to their own devices and their own suffering. They will sort it out sooner or later - everyone else did. No point spending your taxes prolonging an inevitable dispute.
The Asterisk said…
Wow, Craig. You are wrong on sooooooo many dimensions.

First, what country's foreign policy is NOT shaped by resources and business, except for maybe the Amazonian lost tribes? Oh, that's right, they are not a country.

In case you haven't noticed, the US military is extremely altruistic in times of dire need (check out just about any earthquake, huge flood or tsunami in the past 50 years.) I don't think we are still occupying Phuket, Thailand are we?

The only reason that our military attempts to quell religious extremism in Islamic countries is because those extremists are like a pissed-off honey badger. They hate everything that is not themselves, and they blow up everything in their path.

I don't know if you have noticed, but the GOP debates are driven by mostly liberal media outlets jabbing the candidates with irrelevant questions. The guys on stage push back, but the moderators and the "Facebook questioners" persist. Compare and contrast that with the civilized "Huckabee Forum" last night on Fox. You would never know that the three candidates are the same people compared to the CNN debate.

Try convincing the "Islamic Republic of Iran" to take the religion out of government. The religion IS the government. I think we in the west gave up on that idea about 250 years ago?

Hmmmmm. I wonder why we haven't occupied Australia yet? I think we could take them...

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