Since I first posted this a coalition of Arab states has announced its intention to form a combined military force to fight the rebels in Yemen and elsewhere. It’s basically the Arab states vs. militant Islam and Iran. Egypt has promised to send troops into Yemen if need be. Meanwhile, the U.S. is supplying support short of military intervention in Yemen. Amid all of this, the Arab states are not so keen on the nuclear deal Washington is trying to work out with Iran. There are doubts Iran will halt its move toward gaining nuclear bomb capability and they feel that Iran (which is Persian not Arab) will continue to meddle in their affairs. Some analysts see the idea of a united Arab military force as a move to get independent from Washington. A united Arab force has been attempted in the past but without success.
In the Middle Ages Christian Crusaders marched off from Europe and into Asia to defeat the Muslims and take back the Holy Lands.
Today groups claiming to represent Muslims are trying to defeat the largely Christian West and take over the whole world.
How many wars throughout history have been fought in the name of religion or with religion a major component of disputes?
While most of the major religions preach peace and love, a lot of violence is committed in their names.
It is claimed that the Muslim religion calls for the killing of non believers. I wouldn’t know. I mean is that the actual tenets of the religion or an interpretation by some? Both those who simply want to use the religion in their own quest for power and those who oppose the religion no doubt push that line. And I suppose some sects of Islam are hardcore and want to kill the infidels.
Certainly through the ages Christianity or the Christian way of life has been used as a banner for fighting wars.
The religious right in our own nation I believe supports capital punishment. And I imagine by and large the Christian right is all for sending our good Christian youth to far off lands to fight the non-Christians.
(As I understand it, right-wing Christians believe strongly in Israel. For one thing the Israelis are obviously not Muslims and for another, they are just misguided Jewish people, whose land in the end times will be conquered by Christianity in the second coming of Christ — or something like that.)
Right now the United States foreign policy in the Middle East is super complicated, with the Obama administration finding itself supporting disparate factions in various nations. Even though since the Iranian revolution of 1979 Iran has been basically our enemy, we are in some instances uneasily cooperating with that nation in Iraq in a fight against ISIS. And in Syria where a civil war of sorts rages, with multiple factions who fight each other while trying to oppose the current dictator, Assad, the U.S.is wishing it could topple Assad, but has to be concerned that some of his opponents are part of Al Qaeda, the entity of course that attacked the U.S. on 9/11.
And now Saudi Arabia is bombing Yemen, and contemplating sending in ground troops, in support of the government there that has been pushed out by rebels who are allied with Iran, an enemy of Saudi Arabia. And I believe the enmity between Saudi Arabia and Iran has to do with each nation not sharing the same version of Islam.
Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq for years with an iron fist and kept the competing religious factions from each other’s throats. But we helped topple him with much loss of American lives and wound up with the nation in chaos and continued war.
Make no mistake, always our interest in that region of the world was oil and keeping shipping routes open.
But we have our own homegrown oil supply now and even alternative sources of energy and new technology.
Do we really need the Middle East anymore?
While I see the United States of America as having a role and in fact a responsibility in world affairs with its status as the world’s superpower, part of me feels this way:
Let those in the Middle East fight over their religion. Let God decide who is right.
Just leave us in peace and out of the mess.