Column

The Reaction of Our Adversaries – Are we partly the reason?

This year is the 15th Anniversary of 9/11.

Two billion people in the world watched the Twin Towers at Lower Manhattan devastated by an attack by commandeered aircraft.  The natural reaction of the world was of awe, disgust, anger, et al.  Anti-Muslim feelings arose unfairly and in exaggeration. A small handful of fundamentals were responsible for the attack. One can argue that those that help them are equally responsible. Now surely we cannot all think that all two billion Muslims in the world share these feelings.

What about the responsibility of the Christians?  The cruel acts by Muslims in this century are minuscule compared to the barbarism of Christians throughout history. Let us remember the Crusades when Christians invaded for centuries a land that was not theirs, the ransacking of Latin America by the Spaniards, the massacres of Indians by the Americans, the Opium trade of the British in India and the 100 million deaths that the Germans are responsible for over WW2.  The holocaust’s cruelty just a few years before many of us were born. When it comes to cruelty, the Muslims are amateurs and light-weights. Christians take the Gold Prize. The Spanish did it in the name of Jesus Christ and Gold, the British to balance their trade deficits, the Americans to expand their holdings, and the Germans to purify the world with beautiful blonde women.

Then comes the fall of the Ottoman Empire and what does the West do? Divide politically what had found a religious and commercial balance naturally.  Why? To treat the Middle East purely as a resource and not to help them rise economically and become part of the world. What did the Americans do after WW2? Their priority was to rebuild Europe, Germany in particular, to prevent the Russians from moving into Europe as they did with Japan. And, this was probably the right move but they did so ignoring the Middle East and ignoring their own energy policy of self-sufficiency.

So what is a society that does not participate in the peacetime growth dividend do?  Its back is against wall. This is not, of course, a justification of violence but rather an attempt to understand the situation so we can solve it because it is to our interest to solve it. What is the reaction post 9/11? Invade. Invade at an enormous cost to the US economy, which is still the economic and technological driver of the world. And, all with borrowed money.

Here comes 2008 and the entire world heads toward its present macro economic situation. One of large and increased debt across all major economies. One of the large unsustainable deficits across those same major economies. Economic weakness is opportunity for our adversaries, hence, the Paris attacks to weaken by fear the economic atmosphere.

So is it all the fault of the fundamentals or did the rest press them into that corner?

The wall falls in Berlin. The USSR implodes and breaks up. What does NATO do? Try to move their missiles closer to the USSR pushing them into a corner in their time of weakness. Out of those ashes rises a Putin with the support of the Russian people. Again, instead of helping build the Russian economy, the Americans push closer into Russia. Does it matter if the missiles are a couple of hundred kilometers closer to Russia and arrive there a few seconds ahead of time, were that the case?

So perhaps the Twin Tower Monument and Museum should be there to remind us not only of the 3,000 victims but also of the stupidity of pushing your adversaries into a corner if you are not prepared to annihilate them.