Vail Daily column: Rethinking our role
Every day, the evidence continues to grow that the heroic but misguided attempts by the United States and other Western nations to bridge the void between the predominately Dark Ages cultures of large portions of the Middle East and the modern world are failing badly. Since the beginning of the 21st century, several trillion dollars and tens of thousand of lives of service men and women have been squandered on this effort with nothing of real substance to show for it.
The picture on the ground in the countries directly affected (Iraq and Afghanistan) is far worse, with entire cities in ruin, landscapes laced with dangerous unexploded ordnance, their fragile economies shattered, millions of innocent lives lost or horribly maimed and everywhere a growing hatred for the West and all that it stands for.
Throughout history it has never been more evident that for decades we have been sowing the seeds of our own destruction. While the images of the World Trade Center towers collapsing are still etched on our collective memories, we all should keep in mind that the folks who feel harmed by our actions in their part of the world have not only the desire, but the ability to strike back at us.
Last week the president of the United States stated that what he feared most was not Russia, but the real prospect of one or more nuclear devices falling into the hands of terrorists, then finding their way to the United States and being detonated in the heart of one or more American cities. The result would be not only the likely collapse of the economy of the US, but of the economies of the entire world; and the survivors would find themselves back the Dark Ages. Guess who wins?
People who should know about such things have predicted that the chances of this occurring at some point in the future is about 50 percent; and to bring this point home, think about playing Russian roulette with not one, but three cartridges in the chambers of the six-shooter.
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If the clear and present danger of a nuclear Armageddon is to possibly be avoided, the United States must very soon rethink its position and role in the world and no longer attempt to force our way of life and values down the throats of hundreds of millions of people who most likely will never share them.