Quote from Roy Fokker
Probably... but as you might have already guessed/figgeredout.... I'm of the camp that believes that actions predating even Beirut lead us to 9/11.
The day we decided to babysit the world and nanny every little tinpot dictator with a funny hat was the day we set down this path.
As a libertarian, I should have guessed your isolationist streak.
While I don't totally agree - I certainly understand - I think isolationism is a great concept, but a practical impossibility. (Although I agree we have a tendency to babysit thugs - to our ultimate disadvantage.)
We have been 'engaged' since WWII - we attempted isolationism then and were brought into the war, regardless. It was the fruits of our efforts there that made America a world leader and that led us to obligations that can't simply be severed because of the end of the cold war.
The Middle East is a different story. But to the extent that we have been 'engaged' in Israel, we have attempted to counterbalance that engagement with aid to Egypt, Jordan, etc.
It could be argued that a little more isolationism there would have been a good thing. But I disagree that that would have limited our current need to ‘engage’ terrorists. Our current problems don’t stem from our involvement in the Middle East – any ‘grievance’ against us on that pretext is simply an excuse.
The extremist elements of the Islam culture believe that interaction with other religions can only have 3 outcomes: conversion, subjugation, and/or extermination.
Look at Jerusalem. The Temple Mount has been religious Holy Ground since Joshua led the exiles into Canaan – nigh 3 plus millennia ago. Islam built the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in the 500’s AD(?) for two reasons: to subjugate Judiasm and to exterminate the site from the possibility of rebuilding the Temple.
To hear it from the Muslims, the Dome of the Rock is their 3rd most sacred Holy area, after Mecca and Medina. But the reason WHY is because it is their greatest achievement in subjugating another religion to date. (The reason why Jews have Rabbis and not Priests is because you need a Temple to have Priests.)
I agree with the concept of isolationism – but it is not our lack thereof that has led us into the current conflict w/ fundamentalists. It is because we are a vastly successful, predominately Christian culture – that alone is enough to stoke the ire of the Usamas of the world.
And that is why I believe that extermination should be a two-way street. We, as a nation, are happy to live in peaceful co-existence - but when others brook no choice - when they argue for a fight to the death - I'm resigned to the concept of serving it up to them, as frequently as possible.
At some point, mainstream Islam is going to have to get off the fence and decide which world it wants to live in – the world of extremists (that will come after them next because Sunni and Shia are not Wahabi) – or the world where civil people can choose their form of religious expression without that choice itself being an affront.
But I do agree that history is a meandering river – any point lies along the linear stream - and leads to the next point.