Tom Finneran: The Nightmare of the Middle East
Friday, August 23, 2013
Every day brings forth a new atrocity. The humiliation of women is constant. The degradation and beating of gays is encouraged and applauded. Most recently, nuns are roughed up, abused, robbed, paraded through the streets like war criminals, and held hostage. Christian churches are defaced in red, pillaged of all their possessions, and then burned to the ground. Historic parallels anyone?
There is not one redeeming feature to life in Libya, Egypt, Syria, and Iran. These places are hellholes, fueled by an absurd religious fanaticism and corrupt criminal strongmen.
As a Christian I feel a full measure of sympathy for the ordinary people who live there. Their lives are forlorn, without hope of seeing their daughters dance. And we should not condemn those ordinary people for their acceptance of such pitiable and humiliating circumstances. It takes an unfathomable courage to stand up to murderous thugs. Most of us would shrink away from the call. Consider the tanks of Tiananmen Square.
A waking nightmare
As an allegedly moral nation, might we do something beyond the utterance of platitudes? “Arab Spring” is a euphemism, parading as a vanity and a hope, and certainly not anything upon which to build a policy. The so-called “Arab Spring” is now an Arab slaughter. And the streets of Cairo run red, ankle deep in blood. President Obama is learning, too slowly for my taste, that a foreign policy that is “not George Bush” is not enough. Perhaps our next President will adopt a “neither Bush nor Obama” doctrine. And speaking of next Presidents, how does Hillary Clinton escape blame for the mess we now find ourselves in? It’s not as if the wheels came off the Obama foreign policy wagon upon the moment of John Kerry’s elevation to Secretary of State.
Let’s take the problems one by one: Egypt, a huge beneficiary of American foreign aid, has descended into violent chaos, unlike anything we have ever seen there in more than fifty years; Syria is a charnel house, with thousands of bodies piled atop each other and more occurring each day; for Libya, just think of Benghazi and the unrequited murder of four Americans at the hands of a bloodthirsty mob; need anything be said about Iran beyond its Russian patron, its nuclear centrifuges, and its malign interference in the affairs of its neighbors? America is now held in lower regard in the Middle East than was the case under the “trigger-happy warmonger” Bush.
An idea or two
Might we stop the delusional references to Islam as a religion of peace? Might we tell Russia that the “reset button” has been stored away in some utopian faculty lounge and that henceforth, everything is transactional for which we will exact a serious price? Their “goodwill” is meaningless. And Putin is a thug. Might we tell Egypt that not a single additional American penny, gun, plane, or tank will be sent until the slaughter of Christians is stopped and the sturdy protection of Christians is paramount? Might we demonstrate to the world that there is meaningful value as an American ally and a substantial cost to being an American foe? Might we finally drop this desperate desire to be loved? How about being respected first?
There are natural and historical alliances to be cultivated and developed and strengthened. Japan, Australia, India, Canada, Great Britain, France, and Germany have many reasons to align with America. Let’s give them even more reason to do so. And let’s drop the pretension about emerging democratic societies in the Middle East. If not for the oil under their sands, no sane person would give them a second thought.
Finally, might we not commit to a national project of energy independence from such horrid regimes? Why would we send tankers full of American currency to regimes which despise and attack us? Let’s spend those dollars here, in the States and Canada and elsewhere. Let’s drill, frack, and go nuclear, putting the Middle East into history’s rearview mirror. Good riddance.
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