The Master Shake
They were interviewing a local Muslim leader here in St. Louis awhile back and he said, and I quote, "Every Muslim believes in jihad. Just not every muslim believes in it enough to get off their couch." So while that might not represent every one of the billion, it's a good look in to the mind of your average, everyday American muslim. While the billion might not openly practice jihad, I'm betting a very large number support it through various methods and are at the very least complacent in it.
Originally Posted by Kimiko
And we prop up and supply these countries partly for the same reason we backed South Vietnam and South Korea and the rebels in Afghanistan and why we stuck around to rebuild Europe after WW2 and maintained a significant presence there for so many years: Those in charge see it as better than the alternative. Imagine what it would have meant to Europe and the course of the Cold War had the U.S. not been there to keep Russia behind the Iron Curtain. Or in S. Korea. We prop them up because we see it as better than the alternatives. We didn't give a shit about Afghanistan but we funded and trained Bin Laden because we didn't want the Russians to have it. We went in to Vietnam because we didn't want the Chinese, and through them, the Russians to have it. We went in to S. Korea for the same reasons.
It's very easy (and convenient) for us to say now that we shouldn't have done that or such-and-such action was a mistake, but we're only allowed that luxury after 30, 40 and 50 years of historical analysis and second guessing. It's easy to forget that Communism was a very real threat. So, rightly or wrongly, we played chess with a lot of lesser countries to keep the Russians from gaining an edge and them us. And a lot of good came out of it. The interstate highway system, the internet, cell phones, just to name a few. It also left us in a good position to support the burgeoning global economy. Where ever we have bases and a presence we're able to ensure stability and that helps build trade and trade helps the local economies.
I don't necessarily agree with this policy, though. I don't like that we've set ourselves up as this global peace force. I don't think it's sustainable. But I view our presence in the middle east in a very similar light. We supported Saddam for those years because he was seen as a better alternative. The same with the Shah. We support Saudi Arabia because they at least pretend to be on our side. I'm not even sure I buy the oil argument that much because it doesn't seem to be helping a lot, lately. What was it, 97 bucks a barrel yesterday? As much as you want to blame Bush for this mess, it was put in place before Bush was even born. Back when his daddy was still a snot-nosed kid running around in knickerbockers.
Terrorism is a real threat, just as Communism and Fascism before it. They don't have to destroy America, they just have to bomb a port. Trade would grind to a screeching halt as all ports in the US were closed to be checked. Imagine what that would do to our economy. There are a thousand ways in which they could seriously screw with us. But if a nuke is used, it won't be by us. Not first, anyway. Our only hope is to keep people in power who won't use them as a first response. There are enough religious zealots in the Muslim world that if they got their hands on one, they might use it. If they did, once we figured out what country made it, which they can do now, we would almost certainly be forced to nuke them in response.
And, oh yee of the short memory, if you'll recall it was not the U.S. that nearly propelled the world in to nuclear war a few years ago, it was Pakistan and India. Between the two countries they had over a million troops on the border ready to invade and the nukes were primed. Sectarian violence has caused tens of thousands of deaths in the Kashmir region in the last several years. The same in Iraq. Most of the deaths are because Shia are killing Sunni, not the US killing everyone.
But really, I don't know why I bother. You're the forum poster child for the Blame America first crowd. Your hatred for Bush has given you an extremely myopic view of history. It doesn't matter how long-standing some problems were or what the catalyst for past actions were, somehow in your mind everything is Bush's fault.
I'm a mod. If you feel something I say is inappropriate for a mod on this forum, here's what you do: Write it down on a piece of paper, put it in an envelope, roll it up really tight and stick it in your asshole.