It has been said before, but for some reason this assertion has been circling the news this past week. Namely, that George W. Bush is personally responsible for the rise of ISIS. President Obama recently stated as much and was recently followed by Sean Penn. Not that anyone cares about Sean Penn, but he said it all the same. Supporters of Obama have doubled down on the claim so as to insulate him from the current troubles. Then supporters of Bush have refuted the claim so as to put it back on Obama. Now, as far as I am concerned, this whole Republican v. Democrat thing has basically just turned into a big comic strip of Spy vs. Spy from MAD magazine. Truth is irrelevant, but if you can get a political bomb to blow up in the other’s face, then it is a win for this strip. Consequently, I would like to take the heat off of them all and go ahead and confess, it was me.
I Created ISIS
It’s true, I did it. This Marine Veteran of Iraq was solely responsible for the rise of the Islamic State. You see, I remember Iraq of 2003 and despite it being a crap hole, post-invasion Iraq was a pretty peaceful time. That was, until I and the rest of my American cohorts decided to take matters into our own hands. I remember it just like it was yesterday.
All the Muslims were gathered into this building where they were quietly reading the Koran, giving to the poor, and living in harmony with their fellow man when I burst on to the scene. I jumped in the middle and was all like, blaaaaaaaaaaaah, Americaaaaaaannnnnnsssss. Now, at first they all looked quite confused what with never having seen or had a violent or aggressive thought in their life.
I then began slapping them around and force feeding them all the BBQ ribs I had brought from Memphis, because you know, Memphis has the best BBQ. Suck it Kansas City. Anyway, I then found two best friends, one Sunni and one Shia whom had known each other since birth. I then tied one of their hands to the other, and gave them a knife while insisting they fight to the death while listening to Michael Jackson’s Beat It. They really do love Michael Jackson over there.
After that, I then set their oldest men up on dates with 10 year old girls and passively mentioned that the market demanded for religious minorities to be sold into slavery. At first they resisted, but when I pointed out the verses in their own holy book they could use to justify such actions, they responded with, huh, we never noticed those or the benefit to interpreting them literally in the 21st century. Sorry, world, I didn’t realize what I was doing, but I took peaceful men who were truly sweethearts and turned them into the scourge of the Earth. My bad.
Evil Perpetuates Itself
Ok, now, I truly hope that my readers have become skilled in the art of sarcasm by this point. However, if you get the gist of what I am saying above it is this. No one human is responsible for putting evil into the hearts of men for that is all that is ISIS. Evil. This evil existed in the hearts of these men before America landed and there is no act of goodwill from America that could undo it. With the men of ISIS, there are no hearts and minds to win because the soul is twisted.
General Mattis recently expounded upon that idea in an interview for the Hoover Institute. In it, he said, “We are up against an enemy who means what they say and we should not patronize them. When they say girls don’t go to school, you are not going to talk them out of it by simply having a picnic in the backyard and resolving your differences. Their views of the role of women, their views of modernity, their views of tolerance for people who think differently are fundamentally different than ours.” Then he when on to quote Oliver Wendall Holmes Jr. who said, “Between two irreconcilable worldviews, it’s probably going to turn into a fight.” Ladies and gentlemen, I have heard few words better than those of James Mattis to describe the situation we have at hand with ISIS.
I like George W. Bush even thought I don’t agree with everything he did. For that matter, I think Barrack Obama is a good smart man. However, when each reaches down deep within themselves to find the solutions they think best for America, they simply come up with different actions as the well from which they pull is filled with different worldviews. That’s fine. In fact, Bush Sr. took a different approach in the region during the first Gulf War. Despite catching some heat for not going all the way to Baghdad, I think daddy Bush looks retroactively genius.
So W. Did he, or didn’t he create ISIS. Well, I hope you can tell from my sarcastic admission above, that the answer in my book is a definitive no. The invasion of Iraq did not instill a Medieval worldview in the hearts of men. However, did George W. Bush unleash ISIS? You betcha, in my best Sarah Palin voice. No President ought to be able to escape the implications of their decisions. Bush is no exception. He didn’t create the Kraken, but it is undeniable that he took out the bigger dog, i.e. Saddam, that kept the Kraken in its place. Yes, the same could be said for Obama as he oversaw rebellions in Libya, Syria, and Yemen where we are seeing equally radical Krakens set free. Perhaps only General Mattis flying in on a Pegasus holding the head of Medusa can save us now.
I say all this not to defend Bush or blame Obama. The truth is, neither Presidents, nor America, nor its citizens are responsible for the evil that takes place in these lands. Is it honestly too much to ask that the good men and women of these lands resist evil with the necessary resolve to thwart it? The Kurds seem to be doing just fine at that. I just think that as long as we keep looking at America as the genesis of this evil we will miss the real threat. Again as General Mattis said, we are up against an enemy that means what they say. Not every Middle Eastern is bad and I like to think the vast majority are good people. However, the people of the Middle East are not just innocent people resisting the Yankee Doodle oppression.
In 50 years, will all of this have been worth it? Possibly. However, in March of 2015, is it worth it thus far? Probably not. I enjoyed my trip to Iraq and am thankful for the experiences forged there. However, I don’t see Democracy in the Middle East among a population whom might hate us as going too well thus far. I am just saying I don’t blame America if a group of people are so evil that it takes a greater evil Dictator to rule them. I blame the evil. As General Mattis said, we are all trying to make sense of this world and Presidents are no exception. A President has no choice but to preside over country during the time allotted to him. Bush got 9-11 and he chose path A,B, and C. Obama has the world of ISIS and his choices are but his own.
In the meantime, I’ll go ahead have my, I Am Spartacus moment. I did it. I created ISIS. I knew I should have yelled at that orange and white Iraqi cab driver who almost ran me over. Now I turned him evil. Shame on me.
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