Vail Daily column: Our turn to be extreme
What’s the difference between ISIS, al-Qaida, Hamas, Boko Haram, Muslim extremists, Christian extremists, religious extremists of all flavors and terrorists?
No matter what type of spin you want to put on it, extremism in any form is more often than not the cause behind change, both positive and negative, with religious fanaticism of all stripes being the single largest threat to world peace and our overall sanity.
Yes, these misogynistic and barbaric crimes against humanity must stop, but let’s be perfectly clear about this whole ISIS nonsense that “seemingly came out of nowhere” according to so many talking heads.
The extremists calling themselves ISIS did not magically self-fund or self-train. They are simply the same religious radicals that have been terrorizing the Middle East since the 18th century, all based out of what is now Saudi Arabia.
But it was the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century that helped to create the modern day crazies that we’re dealing with now. The only way the Saud family could retain political leadership was by giving religious leadership, and thus control of Mecca and Medina, to the Wahhabi sect, which is the foundation for all Islamic terror groups.
So those on the extreme right blaming Obama are no different than those on the extreme left that still try to blame Bush — they’re both wrong.
It’s the Saudis that take the grand prize for blame.
Just last Saturday King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia warned that we, the West and the EU, will be the next target of the jihadists sweeping through Syria and Iraq, unless there is quick action (translation: America and Europe supply troops to do his bidding).
Ignoring the fact that he has no army, why should he fight when he knows we’ll do it for him as long as the oil keeps flowing?
With only nine days until the 13th anniversary of 9/11, the fear mongers are out in full force. Witness the new threat levels announced in the UK last week and the repeated shoutings of John McCain and Lindsey Graham for boots on the ground in both Syria and Iraq.
While the extreme right in our own country is so busy counting Obama’s golf swings, as least the current administration had the courage to not give in last year and send troops and weapons to help the Syrian rebels because, as the smiling photos with McCain showed, those exact rebels suddenly “became” members of ISIS.
It’s like teaching a 9-year-old to shoot a fully automatic submachine gun … what could possibly go wrong?
And why in the world do we leave so damn many weapons and ammo behind whenever we leave a country? We spent billions to send everything over there, so why don’t we bring it all home when we’re done?
MIDDLE EAST’S RESPONSIBILITY
Anyway, this entire scenario is the responsibility of the Middle East, not the United States, and if it were not for our love of oil we wouldn’t care. As Tom Friedman says, green is the new red, white and blue, and the sooner we stop pretending these people are so important to us the sooner we can focus on alternative energy sources and let them do their own fighting amongst themselves.
The Saudi government has lived a lie for the past century, hating the West but loving our money, modernizing their country with our technology but hating those who created it.
Americans now need to be extreme (regardless of pointless party affiliations) and use our technological advantages to eliminate our need for anything from the Middle East, and let them return to the golden days of the 14th century where they can slaughter one another with swords over which pretend deity is less imaginary.
It’s evidently what they wish for.
Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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