Like many, I was deeply saddened and disturbed by the murders of our ambassador and other Americans last week. The brutal pictures showing him being dragged, whether alive or dead I don’t know, through the streets by Islamist thugs were horrible.
Over a decade ago, when Bush was president, I was for going to war in Afghanistan and then also, contrary to the pope and U.S. bishops, in Iraq. Since then I have done a complete turnabout and now think that the Iraq war was a mistake, and Afghanistan might have been, too.
So ironically, though I voted against Pres. Obama, I had hopes that he would at least end these wars and bring all our troops and personnel home. Yet he hasn’t done that, and instead got us embroiled in several other uprisings and rebellions in that part of the world.
As Frank Weathers said recently, the only sensible thing to do is repel boarders from the walls of the embassies. And I would add, we either do that, or we simply get the hell out of these countries. Do we need an embassy in Libya? In Yemen? In Egypt? If these countries’ governments either cannot or will not stop violent attacks against Americans, and if we are not willing to defend our people there, then we should leave. Close up the embassy, sell it, give it away, whatever. Just get out of there.
Our country has many serious problems. We will not reverse our image with Islam, especially not with militant Islam. They hate us, in part for wrong reasons and in part for good ones (e.g. our exports of consumerism, pornography, contraception, etc.). Pres. Obama understands little of Islam, that much is clear from his idealistic belief that when he became President the Muslim world would change its perception of us.
Anyone who has studied history from 600 to 1500 AD will know that Islam spread through invasion and subjugation. Christian areas were put to the sword and Christians were given second-class status (at the very best). This is enshrined in Islam, which is both religious (theological) and political in nature.
Talk to Muslims today, and some may say it is a religion of peace; others not. My Eastern Orthodox friend Timothy Flanders explains why this is so. In short, Islam is akin to Protestantism: there is no authority within Islam that can definitively interpret the Koran and Hadith. Instead, multiple conflicting interpretations exist.
But back to our country. Why do we still have bases and embassies all over the world? Why do we spend billions to maintain them? We need to retrench as a country. We are not the overlords of the world we once were. We are not the police of the world.
Leaving these countries will not make Muslims there like us any more than they do now. But it will enrage them slightly less. Meanwhile we can work to build a robust culture, founded on Christianity, within our country. A robust Christianity is the only thing that can stand against militant Islam.
I am ashamed and disappointed by Pres. Obama’s responses to these assaults on our countrymen. I also do not think for a minute that Romney, if President, would bring our troops out of these countries or close bases and embassies. It seems neither major political party sees the writing on the wall here. God help us.
What do you think? Should we have embassies in unstable countries made up of people who hate us? Should we have bases all over the world? Will either party do something about this?