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What to do about the Middle East?

December 30, 2012


It’s an ethical conundrum.  I’m all for getting out of Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, not to mention every other Middle East country.  Democracy can’t be foisted on people; they must be so hungry for it they fight for it themselves or they’ll never appreciate it (or take it for granted and misunderstand it generations later, just as we have).

I don’t want another American life sacrificed for people so rooted still in tribalism that the 21st century is hundreds of years away.

And yet….

…Islam wants to grow through violence.  No, they aren’t all extreme, but their hatred of Israel is common among ME believers.  Further, their treatment of anyone who isn’t Muslim is barbaric.

So fine, somehow, through a miracle of negotiations, if the ME countries were to credibly say, “No more!  We won’t harm Israel or non-Allah believers and we’ll root out the extremist ourselves!” then I’d happily say Pull Out!

And really, I’m already there, let’s pull out.  We’d still need to meet aggression with aggression, but man, I don’t want bombs going off in my country, let’s stop doing it to theirs.

And yet…

Women and girls are treated as badly (or worse) than unbelievers.  While the ME says, “Leave us alone and let us be sovereign over our own nation!” over half that nation is in bondage.  Many are being mutilated and murdered.  Islam itself doesn’t demand women and girls to be abused (it does allow it), but the Sharia Law group claims it does.

Are such disabused people our concern?  We don’t seem to care much what goes on in Africa; are we to presume that when we become energy independent that we won’t care what goes on in the ME?

What are we morally to do?  Serious question, I struggle with that answer.  I don’t think war is the way to go, but I’m not seeing any alternatives that help those people, either.  As a man of faith, I believe reaching them with the gospel is important, but as a society with a diversity of beliefs, what is the RIGHT thing to do?  Not the political thing or the expedient thing, but the right thing?

I really, really want to know.


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