I know it is a festive season, and we all should look at the bright side of life.    But this whole business of ISIS depresses me.  We, I mean the West, is doing it all over again.  When will we ever learn?  (Sorry, Bob Dylan, for the paraphrase.)  According to Imam Soharwardy, who spoke at the SACPA luncheon lecture recently, in the rush to organize credible fighting forces against the regime in Syria, the West asked Saudi Arabia to help, which obliged by pouring in money and weapons to create a Sunni fighting force.  That is the origin of the ISIS.  It’s the case of applying “enemy of my enemy is my friend” logic.  And it turned out they were no friends of ours.

In order to counter the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Americans invited Muslim extremists, armed them and showered them with money to expel Soviets.  There is a Hollywood movie about it called “Charlie’s War.”  That was how al Qaida and Taliban were born.  They turned out to be no friends of America after the Soviets were defeated and left.  They turned out to be deadly against us.  Remember 9/11?

Likewise, Sadam Husein was a friend of ours when he was fighting Iran.  Donald Rumsfelt shook hands with Sadam.  I saw the same kid of things with Israel vis a vis Hamas in Gaza during the 1980’s.  I was there when Islamic radicals in collusion with Israeli forces attacked the PLO leadership and burned down the building of the Red Crescent Society.  Again the enemies (Hamas) of the enemies (secular PLO) turned out to be more deadly to Israel.  Our histories are full of the same old mistakes.  Violence begets violence.  When will we ever learn?

We really should think deeply about what we mean when we celebrate the birth of Prince of Peace.  Peace is not cowardly nor sissy.  Do we have to keep killing such an idea like PEACE?  It’s not a new idea.  All religions believe in it.  I wish you all, Shalom!  Salaam!  Peace!

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