Nothing I’m writing here is anything more than speculation. I have nothing factual to back up what I’m presenting, so it’s merely a thought exercise, something to keep me occupied while my daughter attends a vigil held for yesterday’s terror victims.
I recall the public discussions of the early 1960s regarding letting more Arabs (as all Muslims were known by Americans back then) enter the US. Public opinion was extremely strong in support of Israel (this was pre-1967 and the dastardly attack upon the USS Liberty), and the media heavily covered Israel as David to the Arab Goliath. Therefore, there was a certain amount of general opposition to the idea.
It was about this same time that I first heard about the Suez Crisis. The UK and France wanted to do to Egypt (over the nationalization of the Suez Canal) what the US and UK did to Iran (over the nationalization of the oil fields). President Eisenhower threatened to wage economic warfare against the UK in particular to get both nations to back down.
No one acted when the US and UK toppled the government of Mossedegh, installed the much-hated Shah, and ensured that Iranian oil only made Western oil companies incredibly wealthy. This coup d’etat remains one of the reasons Western Powers are seen as enemies of Islam.
There are so many alternate realities which come to mind. One of these is: what if Egypt had oil, and France and the UK intended to take those assets over. Would Eisenhower have acted to prevent taking over the Egyptian oil reserves? I’m inclined to say no.
But there is another alternate reality I’m currently interested in. What if the US and the European nations chose to isolate Islamia no later than the time of the Suez Crisis, and do without the oil produced there?
I raise this thought via pondering how the tribal cultures of Islamia seem to have incredible difficulties adapting to or tolerating the societal sophistication of the remainder of the world, hating us all for being so radically different from their people.
We living outside of Islamia have our various issues with religion and our ways of life, but we (for the most part) aren’t letting the thoughts of Bronze Age tribalism interfere too much with our lives. Depending on which aspects one looks at, this can be good or bad.
I may be merely showing my ignorance, but what I know about Islamic peoples tells me that their 7th Century religion dominates all else. I suspect that having heavy machine guns mounted on Toyota pick up trucks, and toting AK-47s and iPhones, and using the Internet to wage war, are all OK as long as it is all used in the “service” of their religion. Otherwise, they would not be “halal”.
But what if all of these things were not available?
What if modern military weapons were denied them?
What if modern communications technologies stopped at their frontiers?
What if modern transportation left them isolated and unable to travel far or fast?
What if they weren’t welcome outside of their own borders?
The most fundamental Islamists of current times denounce our culture while using it against us. It appears to me that we are all expected by these fundamentalists to abandon all scientific and technological advances so as to facilitate a return to a state of religious purity (as they define it).
What influence or power could they wield if they weren’t ready world airline travellers with advanced degrees from Western colleges and billions in oil revenue? Could they have the economic resources to fund radical militants in other nations, used to keep us frightened enough of potential attack that their manipulation goes unanswered? Would Saudis now be major shareholders in FOX and Citibank, among many other US corporations?
We’ll never know. Someone rubbed the lamp and let loose the evil Jinn within. The 30 pieces of silver received for that service only whetted the appetite for more of the same, and those monies made the current situation inevitable.
While attribution for the quote about capitalists selling the rope used to hang them goes to either Lenin or Stalin, the West seems to have sold cheaply the ability for such militant religionists to use our advances against us. Our traditions of freedom and liberty leave huge holes for the fanatical to harm us. Any alterations we make in our laws only moves things in the direction they already desire. It almost seems as if we don’t have any good options now.
I don’t currently have any answers to the questions I pose. I only note that what solutions are derived will be incredibly costly – and not just in lost lives.