Friday, February 20, 2015

Egypt has joined war against the Islamic state group. Its air force has attacked the jihadist army in retribution for the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christian Copts held in Libya, whom they described as “Crusaders.” This is one more instance of the sheer ignorance influential in driving events in the Middle East in modern times. The United States’ invasion of Iraq under George W. Bush was conceived as a crusade by many evangelical American Protestant churches, and so seen by many others in the U.S. It has so been seen in the Islamic countries. This war launched by Americans and Europeans into Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Libya and Afghanistan, and now penetrating northern and sub-Saharan Africa, was supposed to die out this year as Western military forces withdrew, as promised by President Barack Obama in his presidential campaign of 2008. However, the new Crusade goes on, due to the influence of other varieties of Western credulity, those of officials, generals and intellectuals devoted to naive doctrines of “spreading democracy” and promoting the “Arab spring.” What is the threat Islamic State poses to the U.S.? It threatens American forces in the region, but that is easily solved by taking those forces out of the region. That would leave the Arabs to defend themselves against whatever or whomever it is that threatens them. The principal reason that continuous warfare has dragged on in the Middle East for nearly 40 years is that U.S. troops have been deployed there continuously in one form or another, with one or another justification, since “Operation Desert Shield” in 1990. The major countries of Western Europe no longer trust the American government. This may — perhaps must — be taken as a reassuring development, although most Americans don’t yet understand why.

 Clifton Coleman

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