It’s August. This is the time for summer’s last flings. Time for picnics and the beach. And it’s so pleasant in Washington with Congress on break. But, as the news reports indicate, all is not good around the world. In fact in some spots life is down right miserable.
From Pakistan to Tunisia (including Sudan, Somalia, and other middle African countries) life is down right tenuous. Why there and not here?
In these lands there is much killing. Guns are plentiful. Explosives, however, are used to boost the numbers. Bombs are so effective since others can be caught by surprise. Suicide bombers are the method of choice. Apparently there is a limitless number of eager volunteers. You might say these life enders are just dying to make a point. But what point?
Suicide is not unique to the Islamic world. The US actually records higher numbers of suicides each year than any country in the Islamic world. What seems to be the difference is that Americans (and Westerners in general) commit suicide for personal reasons. They choose to end their own lives and do not choose to disturb anyone around them. Only in the Islamic world do we find people who willingly self destruct at the behest of someone else. And unlike many Buddhists who self immolate in recognition of some cause, these Islamic suiciders seems sure that taking as many other lives as possible is a worthy idea and will bring them accolades when they enter paradise. Hmmm.
So what advice should the US be giving countries like Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Pakistan? Should the US be sharing Thomas Paine’s writings? How about explaining the US Constitution and how it is constructed? Or, possibly the “Western Cannon” might find fertile ground.
I feel comfortable that Senators Lindsay Graham and John McCain (who visited Egypt yesterday) thought that (1)after first helping Senator Graham’s upcoming Senate election campaign that (2) they could explain how the US would resolve a situation like the current Egyptian military take over. Hmmm.
It is just striking that those who backed (and still back) the Iraq invasion and occupation are firmly convinced that Egypt will be different.
My guess is that they are correct, but just not now. Maybe in 50 or 100 years. Until Arabs clearly confine their chosen religion to their private lives and restrict the exercise of its ideology amongst themselves and do not interfere with others, communications will be limited to who holds the biggest stick.
Disclaimer. Not all Muslims would choose to be a suicide bomber. Not all Imams would teach or ask their followers to act this way. And, for sure there is a thin line between some military actions where soldiers are sent into action where death is almost certain.