There must be a million words a day written, printed, broadcast, and on the Internet about Islam, Islamists, jihadists, Arabs, and others of that persuasion. I do not call it a religion anymore because I have concluded it is essentially a cult around the “prophet” Mohammed and one divided into Shiites and Sunnis who have been in conflict with one another ever since shortly after his death, based on the claims made by his relatives of his to be the caliph. This has been going on from just prior to Mohammed’s death in 632 A.D.
Much, if not all, of the world’s current problems with Islam stem from its core belief that a worldwide caliphate must be established despite the billions of people who are not Muslim and have no wish to be. Americans—and I suspect most non-Muslims—have a lot of problems trying to understand Islam which, ironically, brands itself as a “religion of peace” at the same time the headlines pour forth about the latest Islamist inspired atrocity.
Islam is now best known for suicide-homicide bombings, 9/11, attacks on Christians throughout the Middle East, Africa, and elsewhere, and, of course, the general mayhem seen these days in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, et cetera.
Setting aside the fact that not all Muslims are bloodthirsty maniacs and many are as secular as they dare to be in Muslim nations, the deeds of a dedicated group of fanatics are sufficient to put the majority in fear of their own lives as well as spell trouble for everyone else.
As always, my crystal ball is cloudy when it comes to discerning events in the Middle East and Africa where the trouble is most manifest. It would appear that the vast resources of our defense and intelligence community are unable to determine who in the Syrian insurrection are the alleged good guys are and who are al Qaeda. I am inclined to think they are all bad guys, whether it is Bashar Assad whose Alawite tribe is fighting to retain control of Syria or those who want to replace them. The current toll is said to exceed seventy thousand.
It all comes down to what tribe and/or sect to which you belong in the Middle East. The other primary way to understand the region and the Islamic Maghreb of northern Africa is the fact that only dictators and monarchs rule the nations there. If something passing for a democratic republic exists as in Iraq or Egypt, the elected head man almost always displays an eagerness to lock up any political opposition or kill them.
At the very least, Saddam Hussein made no secret that he was a pathological maniac capable of atrocities. It was the source of his power. If he had been content to just take the money from Iraq’s oil fields he would be around today, but he engaged in an eight-year-long war with Iran and then invaded Kuwait, thereby letting every other Gulf nation know they were on his shopping list. In retrospect, the U.S. had little choice than to invade, not once, but twice to rid the region of Saddam. We need Mideast oil and, if we just drilled for our own, we would not.
Back to my crystal ball with a few observations—I won’t call them predictions because all things Islamist belong in an insane asylum, defying predictions.
# Syria will continue to be a place of appalling slaughter and neither the U.S. nor other nations will get directly involved. What aid is provided will be either covert or humanitarian. Whatever the final outcome, it will likely slop over into Lebanon. Vietnam taught the U.S. to stay out of civil wars and attempt to influence them through diplomacy, sanctions and cover methods. The lesson we did not learn was to deliver brief massive destruction and leave.
# Jordan is reportedly in danger of being destabilized which is bad news for both Israel and the United States. Its monarchs have been good allies. The Muslim Brotherhood is a problem there and everywhere.
# Pakistan has its problems with the Taliban and other fanatics. Its “democracy” has always been an on-again, off-again affair, but politics there is essentially feudal. There are parts of Pakistan, the northwest, that the government fears to go. Whose side are they on? Well, bin Laden was living up the block from its military academy when the U.S. whacked him.
# Afghanistan could slide into the hands of the Taliban as it did pre-9/11. They measure time differently there. President Hamid Karzai is likely to take the millions he has skimmed and live in comfort in Europe if he is not assassinated first. Officially a republic, whatever progress the nation has made was bought and paid for by Americans. When the last U.S. soldier departs, there is no predicting what will occur, but it is not likely to be an outcome the U.S. likes.
# Iraq is the scene of constant bombings as various factions seek to destabilize the largely Shiite government. Essentially a satellite of Iran, it is unlikely the Iranians want any instability there while they are heavily involved in the Syrian conflict, supporting Assad.
# Egypt is truly a nation in turmoil as the more secular elements of its population seek to oust the Muslim Brotherhood despite what were deemed fair elections. Islamists feel compelled to impose all manner of strictures on Muslims by way of controlling them and many Egyptians are disinclined to accept that. Christians like the Copts are encountering a lot of persecution. You’ll have to ask Obama why the U.S. is sending tanks, planes, and tear gas to the present government.
# Turkey has become an Islamist state after having embraced Western secularism after the end of World War I. It creates problems for everyone else in the region. Why people vote for their own enslavement reveals the control that Islam has over their minds.
# Mali was in the news because of an al Qaeda attack, but the French took swift action and a coalition of European nations have intervened in time to put that evil genii back in the bottle for a while, training up a Mali military and installing a provisional Mali government.
# Libya is currently ungovernable thanks to the presence and threat of al Qaeda whose forces always move into a nation in flux to exert its influence. Gaddafi is beginning to look good in retrospect.
# Al Qaeda, despite what the Obama administration says, is far from defeated, but neither is this non-state entity capable of more than causing trouble wherever they are. The intelligence forces of Western nations and in some Middle Eastern ones are allied around their destruction even if they have to do it one jihadist at a time.
# Iran is nothing but trouble. Run by a handful of ayatollahs and their sycophants, Iran cannot be permitted to acquire nuclear weapon status and capability. If that occurs, all bets are off. Prayers are offered daily in the West for a regime overthrow. Until then, its support for the Palestinian Hezbollah and Hamas organizations guarantee that no peace will ever be achieved with Israel. Arabs—who waged several wars against Israel and lost them all—have decided that they are the victims and not the agents of their own fate in that conflict.
It is sufficient to say that we will be reading headlines for decades to come resulting from the madness that possesses Muslim nations.
© Alan Caruba, 2013
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