There are several major earth moving news stories happening simultaneously – the ongoing saga between Russia and Ukraine and the Israeli-Hamas battle in Gaza, which may escalate into a two-front conflict. It seems Fatah in the West Bank is moving closer to aligning permanently with Hamas, which will surely mean stepped-up assaults by terrorists on Israel from both Gaza and the West Bank.
The self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS) is expanding and has declared war on everyone – Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike.
Meanwhile in Africa, more territory is being plagued by increased outbreaks of the Ebola virus. It appears to be uncontained and spreading.
And there is, of course, the perpetual chaos at our southern border.
All in all, it seems the world is coming apart around us.
I find myself longing for the good old days when our greatest concern was containing strong-arm dictators from attacking their neighbors.
And then I saw this, an article on the UK Daily Mail website, written by Stephen Glover. The piece is entitled, “I’m afraid the bitter truth is Iraq and Libya were better off under the tyrants toppled by an arrogant and naïve West.”
The title pretty much gives it away, and to a point, I believe he’s correct.
Let’s assume America’s motives have been pure, and often times they’re not. But let’s assume that American foreign policy is simply to promote and advance freedom to all peoples. It’s a lofty but admirable goal to wish for everyone to be as free as we are, or at least used to be.
It’s thus a natural inclination to wish to topple the strong-arm oppressors in other countries, figuring the people of that nation will pick up the torch and carry it to freedom.
I think most Americans, certainly conservatives, believe that, left unencumbered, man’s natural state is to be free from oppression.
I used to think that, but both history and certainly current events have proven that philosophy wrong in most cases.
True freedom appears to be an American trait, and the reason is that we are the only people who’ve experienced it from birth. We know of nothing else – so it’s puzzling to us when we see an evil dictator such as Saddam Hussein be deposed only to leave a vacuum that Iraq’s citizens can’t fill.
But logically, how can they possibly? No one in Iraq knows what freedom or self-determination is. How could they. And that is Glover’s point.
It reminds me of an episode of the comedy, “The Big Bang Theory.” The four main characters, all stereotypical “science geeks,” are traveling in a car. The car breaks down and one of them says to the others: “Does anyone know anything about internal combustion engines?” They all chime in that they know everything there is to know. One then says: “Okay, does anyone know how to FIX an internal combustion engine?” In unison, all exclaim that they haven’t a clue.
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Now, the Middle East is no comedy – far from it. It’s just to say that these poor people in various Middle Eastern countries have no idea what freedom is, how to attain it, or even what it means to be free.
Like Glover, I wonder whether, as bad as things were under dictators like Saddam in Iraq, Qaddafi in Libya, or Mubarak in Egypt, their citizens, surrounding countries and us, might have been better off with them, then without.
I know it’s terrible to say or even think that, but look at the alternative. Look at what ousting these dictators has wrought.
It’s looking as if the age-old adage, “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t “, is true more times than not.