Here’s another reason to welcome the coming of the New Year:
Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah have gone to war–with each other.
Al-Qaeda terrorists–now taking aim at Hezbollah terrorists
This is an event the United States could not have predicted or instigated. But it is definitely one in which Americans can take hope.
In Part One, two of those reasons were outlined. Here are the remaining eight:
Third, the United States is still fighting a brutal war in Afghanistan. By early 2012, the United States had about 90,000 troops in Afghanistan, with 22,000 of them due home by the fall.
There has been no schedule set for the pace of the withdrawal of the 68,000 American troops who will remain, only that all are to be out by the end of 2014.
The initial goal of this war was to quickly destroy Al Qaeda–especially its leader, Osama Bin Laden–and its Taliban protectors.
But, over time, Washington policy-makers embarked on a “nation-building” effort. And U.S. forces wound up occupying the country for the next ten years.
This increasingly brought them into conflict with primitive, xenophobic Afghans, whose mindset remains that of the sixth century.
On February 21, 2013, protests erupted throughout Afghanistan as reports emerged that NATO personnel at Bagram Air Base had burned copies of the Koran.
The books had been confiscated from suspected insurgents and inadvertently marked for incineration.
The incident sparked rabid anti-American demonstrations. At least 30 people, including four American troops, were killed, and many were wounded.
Two American military officers were murdered by a trusted member of the Afghan military.
As a result, American forces no longer trust their “brothers” in the Afghan army to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them against the Taliban.
One American officer stated that he would no longer meet with his Afghan counterparts unless there were five armed U.S. troops in the same room.
Fourth, intervening in Syria could produce similar unintended consequences for American forces–and make the United States a target for more Islamic terrorism.
Fifth, since 1979, Syria has been listed by the U.S. State Department as a sponsor of terrorism. Among the terrorist groups it supports are Hezbollah and Hamas.
For many years, Syria provided a safe-house in Damascus to Ilich Ramírez Sánchez–the notorious terrorist better known as Carlos the Jackal.
Sixth, according to U.S. defense reports, Syria has weapons of mass destruction–and the ballistic missiles to deliver them. Syria has an active chemical weapons program, including significant reserves of the deadly nerve agent sarin.
The recent destruction of much of Syria’s WMD stockpile–at the demand of President Barack Obama–doesn’t erase its ability to create more. And this is likely to re-occur as soon as the United States becomes preoccupied with other concerns.
Seventh, the United States had no part in creating the Assad regime. Thus, Americans have no moral obligation to support those Syrians trying to overthrow it.
Eighth, China and Russia are fully supporting the Assad dictatorship–and the brutalities it commits against its own citizens. This reflects badly on them–not the United States. America should focus world outrage against these longtime Communist dictatorships for propping up another one.
Ninth, the United States could find itself in a shooting war with Russia and/or China.
The Russians sent two warships to Syria in 2013 in response to President Obama’s threat to “punish” Assad for using chemical weapons against insurgents.
What happens if American and Russian warships start trading salvos? Or if Russian President Vladimir Putin orders an attack on Israel, in return for America’s attack on Russia’s ally, Syria?
It was exactly that scenario–Great Powers going to war over conflicts between their small-state allies–that triggered World War l.
Tenth, while Islamic nations like Syria and Egypt wage war within their own borders, they will lack the resources–and incentive–to launch attacks against the United States.
Every dead Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda member makes the United States that much safer. Every dead supporter of Hezbollah or Al-Qaeda makes the United States that much safer.
The peoples of the Middle East have long memories for those who commit brutalities against them. In their veins, the cult of the blood feud runs deep.
When Al-Qaeda blows up civilians in Beirut, it’s certain that their relatives will urge Hezbollah to take brutal revenge. And it’s equally certain that Hezbollah will do so.
Similarly, when Hezbollah does, those who support Al-Qaeda will demand even more brutal reprisals against Hezbollah.
No American could instill such hatred in Al-Qaeda for Hezbollah–or vice versa. This is entirely a war of religious and sectarian hatred.
This conflict could easily become the Islamic equivalent of “the Hundred Years’ War” that raged from 1337 to 1453 between England and France.
When Adolf Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, then-Senator Harry Truman said: “I hope the Russians kill lots of Nazis and vice versa.”
That should be America’s view whenever its sworn enemies start killing off each other. Americans should welcome such self-slaughters, not become entrapped in them.