Take a look at history
In my last letter, I mentioned that I was not going to go into the moral debate, but did anyway.
As a brief aside, the point to which I wanted to get was this: In our government’s stupidity and ignorance, the Middle East’s history is ignored and/or forgotten. The warmongers, in their resolute declaration of “success” at any cost, they ignore the main motivating factor for resistance: Western attempts at domination of the region, particularly religious-military domination.
First the Babylonians persecuted the Jews. Soon, the Greek and Roman empires extended their reign into what is now Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel. This was before the days of Islam, but particularly the Romans persecuted the then Jewish majority in the area. Pontius Pilot killed the Jew Jesus, feeling him to be a threat to his power.
Of course, the Romans turned Jesus into a martyr hero, as revisionists deified him, thus making any new prophet, such as Muhammad, the new scapegoat. So, after the collapse of the Roman empire, we had a world of three major religions, all of which were so zealous that their god (the same god) was worth killing and dying for (despite being against the teachings of all three religions.) The Crusades soon followed, as Christians invaded the area via Turkey, attempting to convert the backward, hashish-smoking barbarians into their way of thinking.
The word “assassin” has its roots here; its etymology literally dates to these times, when Westerners saw these dark-skinned hash-smokers as senseless killers. Look it up if you don’t believe me.
Then came the Ottoman Empire (after Ghengis Khan, of course, but he was a quick blip, and an Easterner), also out of Turkey, trying to force Eastern Orthodoxism upon the Arabs.
Then, approaching modern times, the English came along to “promote democracy” and rid the Arabs of the Turks. There was an economic interest in the Suez canal.
T.E. Lawrence certainly had admirable intentions, but quickly saw that imposing Westernized government would not work in a climate of tribal rivalries and bailed, much to the dismay of the English government who wanted their interests in the region protected by a puppet government. (See: “Laurence of Arabia”).
Now the interest is oil. Maybe if Bush actually spent some time with the people of Iraq, he would realize this, too. But Bush ain’t no Laurence.
In other words, no matter how despotic a leader is in the region, history has shown that these people do not want our help. They will continue to fight us; we’ve even provided an arena for it simply by being there. They do not need to attack Washington, they can kill Americans daily by being there.
If we abandon the region, let them fight amongst themselves, and develop renewable energy sources, we can entirely rid ourselves of the problem. Al-Qaeda will leave us alone, and the world will be a better, more sustainable place.
Of course, this is oversimplified, but, again, there is simply not enough time or room in an op/ed section for a full analysis.
In search of true freedom.
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The future of the Aspen-Pitkin County airport took a significant step forward Thursday. Pitkin County commissioners decided 4-1 to accept the recommendation of a community-based committee and leave the runway where it is, a bedrock decision in the long process toward a new terminal and airfield.