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For those who know no more about the Barbary pirates than the movies and stories of Barbarrosa, there were between one and 1.25 million Europeans captured and sold into slavery by the Muslim Barbary pirates from the 16th to 18th centuries. My point is that Muslim “terrorists” have been after non-Muslims for a long time.
The current attacks by ISIS and similar Muslim radicals in the Mideast have not been focused on non-Muslims, notwithstanding the beheading incidents of late, but have been intramural attacks on fellow Muslims. Yet the U.S. has felt compelled to take the strong lead in international reaction to the modern terrorists. Meanwhile the Muslim countries surrounding Syria and Iraq, as well as the nearby European powers, are providing light support, to say the most, to the latest American-led initiatives.
I fail to understand why the U.S. feels so compelled to take the strong lead, when it is the regional Muslim countries that are, or seemingly should be, so threatened by the Syrian Muslim extremists. Even more so, considering that it is the U.S. that has sold modern arms and trained the military of so many neighboring Muslim countries. This is not the age of the Barbary pirates, when a million or more Europeans, and some American warships, were directly impacted by Muslim extremists, yet by the actions being led by America, you would think it still is.
While U.S. airstrikes may or may not have the desired negative impact on ISIS, one thing is sure: the collateral damage among neutral civilians we are now inflicting, will assure another generation or two of America-hating among the families of those innocents effected. If you lived, for example, in some American small town, and an overseas nation bombed your community because they said some bad guys were hiding there, how might you feel toward that foreign nation? While collateral damage is inevitable in air strikes, the point is that the U.S. is courting repercussions that will last for generations ahead by not deferring to the Muslim nations in countering the extremists there. The unwillingness of fellow Muslims in not reacting more forcefully against ISIS suggests we are either misinterpreting the situation in the Middle East, or we are being sucker-punched not just by ISIS, but by all the Muslim countries surrounding Syria.
In my view it is the U.S. that should be in the supporting role in countering ISIS, with the surrounding Muslim countries in the lead, NOT the other way around! While Washington stretches to tell us that there is some support for our initiatives from other Mideast Muslim countries, while we lead the attack with missiles from our warships and American bombers, and have sent nearly two thousand soldiers back into Iraq (so far), we are not hearing the truth about how and why ISIS is not being seen as an imminent threat by Middle Eastern countries. It is time for the truth to be heard.
The current conflict between Palestine and Israel has led to substantially unprecedented video news coverage, because of the massive presence of news media on BOTH sides of the conflict.
During Vietnam, and even Iraq and Afghanistan, we didn’t have as extensive and close-up video coverage of civilian impact of the carnage. When our drones hit a target, we get some, but little video of the actual human consequences.
Back in Vietnam, the Vietnamese lost close to 2 million people, and we saw just a little of that magnitude. Regardless of the pros and cons, politically, or the Israel/Palestine issue, viewers around the world are aghast at the carnage they see. Will this have any effect upon the outcome? Only time will tell, but the world can less than ever before escape the real time impact of the hell that is war.
Pre-internet, we recall that the hostages from the Iranian embassy were released on the day Reagan was inaugurated.
Now, we see our embassies in Cairo and our consulate in Benghazi stormed, with Americans killed, and today our embassy in Yemen stormed. The Internet has everyone in touch with everything.
And what happens here? Romney blasts Obama’s handling of the situation on TV. Do you think we are playing into Al Qaeda hands? Of course. If Mr. Romney has some comments and advice for the President, perhaps he ought to provide it privately. Just a thought on what a patriot might do.
If the Syrian government is really so guilty of exterminating its own citizens, than why don’t “we” (the U.S. and allies) do two things: 1) Totally economically isolate the country, not allowing any trade with any other nation. and 2) send in a “seal team” to eliminate Assad and his cronies?
Cut the snake off at the head, instead of sending in the likes of Kofi Annan.
This may not solve all of Syria’s problems, but it could trigger a re-set that could make recovery a possibility. Why is it that simple solutions seem to be off the table?