Todd Wolfrum
Todd Wolfrum

Political correctness dictates never to label as “crazy” beliefs held by a culture. Instead, utilize euphemisms such as “unique,” “intriguing,” or, at worst, “misunderstood.” The Islamic radicals that just invaded Iraq from Syria hold to the belief that everyone in the world that does not agree with them should be killed.

Hard to misunderstand that. To paraphrase the old country song, if calling them crazy is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.

But then there’s us. After over a decade of failed experiments in nation-building, there are still calls from some of our leaders for immediate re-engagement in Iraq. Bombs, troops, helicopters – kill some sense into ‘em. One measure of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. By that metric, where does that crowd stand on the crazy scale?

It’s safe to say that we are done nation-building in that part of the world. Fini. What seemed like a noble but ludicrous proposition – transforming Iraq into a democratic beacon for the entire Middle East – turned out to be just that. Admit it, even if you are a Republican, when George W. first unveiled that plan, you secretly rolled your eyes. It was just so George W.

So, if we are not looking to nation-build anymore and we are not looking to topple a government, what is the ultimate goal beyond killing just as many of them as we can? To feel good? Where are we hoping to be when that dust settles? Would killing all of the crazies bouncing around in the back of those Toyota trucks solve anything or accomplish any long-term American objectives? Our own heritage should be exhumed. Despite what else political correctness dictates, it’s fair to say we are a nation founded in Christianity. So we know about Jesus. We know that his teachings made for a better way of life, but it was his crucifixion that made a religion. Killing a person tends to do the opposite to the idea that person represents.

In the Middle East, we are, and always have been, fighting an idea disguised as insane people. It’s a simple idea but sometimes those are the most catchy, like an early Beatles’ tune. It’s not an idea familiar in the Western World, so we will never understand it. Not totally. We can kill the people who hold the idea, but in doing so, we’re sanctifying the idea. I mean, 72 virgins is one thing, but 72 virgins and revenge on whoever killed your family? That’s downright motivational.

What do you do for a part of the world that has no aspiration other than to get its Jihad on? From the American experience, the hope should be that they want to Jihad all over each other, as they did quietly for centuries before we started buying their oil. Now, that is apparently what they desire again if we would just let them. Iran, if you think Israel is a problem, let us introduce you to our little friends.

We are at a point in history where we can be a peaceful country again. We are possibly one election away from proceeding with energy independence and our first freedom from the Middle East in almost three generations – long enough ago that no one remembers a nation that wasn’t perpetually at war or on the verge of war. No one else in the world is foolish enough to want to tangle with our military. Although we can’t impose freedom on the world, it is finally available to us again.

There are the innocents in Iraq that will be brutalized by these invaders. But this is their war. We have tried to fight it for them and that doesn’t work. We’ve learned that nations aren’t formed through our sacrifice. If they are never willing to fight, there’s nothing we can do for them in the end anyway.

There is the danger of the formation of a terrorist state. Maybe, but let them get bogged down with trying to govern. Heighten our intelligence, build an invisible fence around it all and watch it like a hawk, as I’m sure we do North Korea – a rogue state with nukes. Eventually, as this terrorist state fights its neighbors over the years, it will forget all about us. It’s a human tragedy but it’s not ours. We have officially tried more than we ever should have to fix the unfixable, costing us thousands of our own sons and daughters and billions of dollars. We are only as crazy as our inability to learn. The last twenty-five years have been, to say the least, instructive.

(This and other wolfrum columns can be read at toddwolfrum.com)