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Better times coming

Reader comment on item: U.S. Foreign Policy and Islam

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Jul 11, 2015 at 22:25

In following the events in the Middle East nowadays, it's all I can do to decide who's on first, what's the nameof the guy on second, etc. I've made a stab at it, bearing in mind the fact that Turkey's Erdogan still hates Egypt's Sisi but is allied with the Saudis in Yemen, who, in turn, are allied with the Egyptians in the same country. They need the Egyptians on their side in this and other matters because they are the most populous and ancient Sunni Arab country; and the Egyptians, in turn, are flat broke

The latter are joined with the Emiratis, meanwhile, in opposing Turkish and Qatarin allies in LIbya (The Qataris also strongly support the Saudis in Yemen). Meanwhile, two parties are vying for the honor of brokering a peace in Libya, namely, Morocco and Algeria, who can't stand each other: The former lean toward the Turkish-backed faction, and the latter lean toward the Egyptian-backed version. The Sudanese used to be strong supporters of Iran; but not only are they desperate for cash since they lost South Sudan and the price of oil simultaneously fell; but their President is under an arrest warrant for genocide from the ICC. Accordingly, they have switched their alliance to the Saudis -- but not necessarily with the Egyptians, with whom they are in competition over a possible Nile Water deal with Ethiopia. This probably keeps them in good graces with various Libyan rebel groups, for whom they serve as a conduit and middleman for smuggled weapons. The Tunisians, meanwhile, seem to be drawing closer to Egypt after the defeat of the Muslim Brotherhood in the last election.

Beneath the facade of Sunni unity, therefore, there are two opposing factions (Turkey-Qatar-Libya Dawn-Morocco-Sudan and Egypt-Libya Tobruk-U Arab Emirates-Tunisia-Algeria, held together by the wealth and prestige of the Saudis.

Oh, I forgot to mention the Jihadis. They are backed by the Turks, Qataris and Saudis, but don't tell anyone: It's a "secret", so Obama won't find out about it. He actually does know, but can't let on because he couldn't do anything about it even if he acknowledged as much.

"Moderat" vs. "Radical" Islam? I find it hard to share your views on this, Daniel, seeing that men and material flow between the "Moderate" Muslim Brotherhood and Free Syrian Army, on the one hand, and Al-Nusra and ISIL on the other, like longshore waves merging in the surf. It's impossible to tell where one ends and the other begins, or whether it really makes any difference. For practical purposes, Turkey is allied with ISIL, Al-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army against Iran, Iraq-Baghdad, Syria-Assad and, most of all, the Kurds -- the last of which is the strongest US "ally" in the Fertile Crescent, for what that's worth.

The Kurds, meanwhile, are being courted by Israel and Iran alike, the US is courting Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel; and the Saudis and Israelis are deadly enemies of Iran.

Somehow, "Sunni and Shi'ite" get blurred together in all this; and "Radical" and "Moderate" Islam seem as different from one another as Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.

Stepping outside of the Middle East Proper, I notice that India and Pakistan have both been accepted in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization -- a collective defense treaty that is supposed to be a counterweight to NATO and America's Far East Allies. NATO, of course, includes the British, Germans, Greeks and Turks under one roof; and our South Korean allies are more fearful of the Japanese than they are of the North Koreans; so it's good that these houses of mutual enemies are opposed by a coalition of courntries who can hardly talk to one another and could be at war with each other by the time this gets posted (though probably not that soon).

You alluded, Daniel, to President Obama's feckless excuse of a foreign policy. I'm left wondering, whether any leader in the world today has a "feckfull" policy, either foreign or domestic! It's difficult to live any country anymore, and have the faintest idea what one's leaders stand for. Is everyone in the pay of the international corporations, the mullahs-cum-self-serving-jihadists, the drug cartels and the munitions merchants? I even doubt the sincerity of an ISIL bomber on a suicide mission, much less an Episcopal minister. The scripture comes to mind,

Psalm 116:
[11] I said in my haste, All men are liars...

and

Psalm 73:
[16] When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me;
[17] Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.
[18] Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction.
[19] How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors.

No, Daniel, I don't think Moderate Islam is the solution. We're all like apples who have been in a barrel that has had rotten apples in it for a long time. We can't kick out the bad apples; we can only separate ourselves the best we can, get out our paring knives, and use them on ourselves while we hope for salvation. Otherwise, there's no hope for anyone. It's that bad.

Rotten apples die; and from their seeds, new trees grow that can bear fresh fruit. We're on the verge of a catastrophe: the Extinction of Mindsets. I think lots of species will bite the dust -- including, of course, Radical Islam and Moderate Islam, Lukewarm Christianity, Secular Hedonism, Class Warfare, and faith in every sort of government and economic system.

Jesus prophesied about the calamities of 70 CE, though we are in similar times today:

Mattew 24:
[6] And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
[7] For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
[8] All these are the beginning of sorrows.
[9] Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
[10] And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
[11] And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
[12] And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
[13] But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

It would be convenient, if Moderate Islam were the solution of today's troubles; but that would solve few of the world's problems: Wives would continue to be beaten by drunken husbands; teenagers would continue to get hooked on heroin; the pollution in Beijing would continue to get worse; panhandlers would continue to increase on American streets, sweatshop workers would continue to labor under increasingly bad conditions, whole species of innocent creatures would continue to go extinct, hearts would continue to be broken, and hopeful young people would continue to wonder whether life is worth living. Moderate Islam couldn't solve any of these problems, even in Muslim countries; neither can Democracy, LIberalism, Atheism nor religion of any kind as we know it. Bright times are certainly coming; but they won't come from any of the above.

Until then, may God continue to bless you, Daniel, and all of your readers.

Shalom shalom :-)

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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