Fear Usually Ends Up In Folly

Need For Congressional History Class

 When Henry David Thoreau graduated from Harvard he refused to take his degree. “It isn’t worth five dollars,” he said. Later he overheard Emerson remarking that Harvard taught all braches of learning. “Yes indeed,” Thoreau interjected, “all of the branches and none of the roots.”

 This was the introduction of an earlier blog, but Americans are easily distracted by the shallowness of the media and a short memory of history. A good understanding of the past could cause us to look more deeply into the superficial statements fed to us by politicians and experts in the media. 

 This cognizance reappeared while watching the national news last night. The first 3/4 of the news was saturated with the meaningless Iowa Caucus. At the end of the broadcast after the listeners were weary and bored, a 20 second clip of a clash between the Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq was aired with the comment; this could end in civil war; surprise! -surprise!

Before using our military to bring our divine democracy to other countries our war lords should have had a through understanding of the countries they are going to convert. I wrote a brief lesson of Muslim history before doing our missionary work in the Middle East and will repeat it before those whose only solution to foreign problems is war. They will soon push us into refereeing the inevitable civil wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Before Mohammad was inspired to write the Koran and convert a Pagan country to Islam the country was tribal with the tribes in constant conflict with each other. The only safe place for opposing tribes was while walking in a circle in Mecca containing 360 small statues of various Gods.

Although most Arabs and Persians became Muslims they still remained tribal. The big split in Arabia took place after Mohammad died without designating a successor. A disagreement between two political factions led to a war between the Shiites and Sunnis that split the small community of Muslims into two branches that would never reunite. The Sunnis were in the majority, but in Iraq it was the opposite. Saddam Hussein, a Sunni, controlled the Shiites with a well trained military force that we foolishly abandon in our invasion.

 Extra troops in the Surge built cement block fences between the Shiite and Sunni neighborhoods but as we can see now fences don’t necessarily make good neighbors. Saddam Hussein has now been replaced by a dictatorial Shiite dynasty.

This is just a blip on the radar screen of the countries we have left to continue their historical 600 year feuds, with no end in sight.

It’s surprising that all the lawyers running our country didn’t have this knowledge before approving the costly war, financially and in human lives. It shouldn’t have been surprising after listening to the debates. In the earlier part of the war a couple of congressmen admitted that they hadn’t known about the Shiites and Sunnis before giving their approval. They were probably too busy raising money to read a history book

We are now coming to the realization that we made the same mistake in Afghanistan. After Vietnam and these two wars the public shouldn’t let our shepherds use fear in our relationship with Iran. Israel is their major enemy and we have provided them with enough military power to contain them. I have no reservations about Ron Paul’s policy of isolation, but his domestic policies would lead to Anarchy.  

Samuel Taylor Coleridge was right when he claimed, “In politics, what begins in fear usually ends up in folly.”  



4 responses to “Fear Usually Ends Up In Folly

  1. Not only do the American people and their politicians not read history, they also don’t reflect on the recent past. The fear factor is beginning in regards to Iran. We have been salt and peppered with the fear of their nuclear capibilities for years and now the talk is escalating. It is as though we haven’t learned any lessons with our involvement with the Middle East if we allow the politicians to control us once again with war talk and eventual action based on fear. We can only hope that the recent returnees from Iraq will bring reality into view as well as the financial crisis as to the human and financial costs.

  2. I agree that fear is continually used to promote war. If fear is the opposite of Faith, then it is certainly also the opposite of full disclosure.
    Sheryl Brawn

  3. Vicki Sue McKinnis

    This war reminds me of a scene in the movie “Out of Africa.” The English immigrants changed the course of a river to water their crops. This worked for a season, but then a storm came and Englishmen stood helpless watching as the the dams broke and the river continued on the course it had maintained for years.
    It’s so tragic to think of the lives lost in this war….and it’s pathetic to hear the churning up of the new war coming against Pakistan, Iran and Syria.

  4. Thanks for the history lesson, Dad.

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