Friday, June 20, 2014

Peace, Please

                                              

I don't care. I don't care about Iraq or Afghanistan or Syria or Iran or Saudi Arabia or Libya. I don't care what kind of government they have. I don't care if they go to war with one another. I don't care how many of each other they kill.

Of course, that isn't exactly true. If there was something we could do to make a real impact, I might be in favor of doing it, but I don't think there is such a thing. And I don't think they appreciate our interference, just as we wouldn't appreciate it if one or more of those countries came over here and said our own philosophical division was getting entirely too hate-filled and threatened to bomb us if we didn't get it together.

Religion has been a catalyst for wars since mankind has existed. Even when we find a wise man who preaches that violence isn't the way, and proves it, be it Jesus or Mohammed or Buddha or Gandhi or Martin Luther King, we find torturous ways to explain why they didn't really mean it..but yes, actually, I think they did. We find the Muslims more...what?...barbaric in their sectarian hate but don't forget, until recently Protestants and Catholics were blowing each other up in Ireland....good old western European white people were just as eager to send their kids out to die in the name of religion as Muslims.

I can only think of a couple reasons to go to war. One is in self-defense, of course. And I mean, self-defense in the most elemental terms not the perversely twisted definitions of the term from those who want us back in the Middle East. Did Afghanistan meet the criteria for self-defense? Yes, in the beginning when were after bin Laden and Al Qaeda, but not later, when we stayed on and on for reasons no one seemed to be able to explain.

The second legitimate rationale for war is defense of our most strategic and trusted allies. Thus, we were justified to go into World War II. We had to help save Britain and France. We may have to go to war someday for Israel's sake, although Israel has done everything it can possibly do to ensure that they can take care of themselves. Do you think Israel's troops would shed their uniforms and run in the event of an attack as the Iraqi Army did? No, I don't think so either.

What about Vietnam? Could we articulate why we thought it was necessary to see 58,000 of our young men slaughtered in South East Asia? No way! Korea, despite a somewhat better outcome than Vietnam, I say no.

Some people will ask, "well, what about defending the world's precious oil supply?" and I say it would be a good thing in the long run if that supply became expensive and unstable. It is probably the only way, we will face the fossil fuel crisis head on. I have enough faith in America to think if the chips are down, our scientists and technologists and engineers, who are the world's best, would work day and night to replace oil with renewable resources. We are starting to do that now. Some countries, such as Germany, are already well on their way to having achieved that goal. How often have we intervened in Africa compared to the Middle East although there are just as many vicious dictators and hungry refugees and children dead of brutality or disease as there are in Iraq and Syria? Why do we care so much more about one part of the world than another? The answer is oil, of course. The sooner we are independent of the Middle East for our energy, the better.

Religious differences are even at the heart of our own growing mistrust and loathing of one another here in America. Muslim fear is at the heart of the whole plethora of "Obama wasn't born here; he isn't a Christian; he's a secret Muslim mole who wants to destroy America and you're a traitor if you support him" lunatic conspiracy theories. It's strange how hate works like that.

So I say, let the Middle East figure out it's own fate. When the dust settles, we can try to initiate diplomatic relations with the winners....or not.