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Saturday, December 5, 2015

This Issue of Terrorism Is Not A Jobs Issue

On CBS This Morning actor Mandy Patinkin suggested that, in regard to the Middle East, if we give them the best roads, the best medical technology, agriculture, and infrastructure they would not feel cheated. The crux of his argument is that if they (the Middle East) have all of these amenities afforded them, they won't be so inclined to go after Western civilization. The argument is reminiscent of many on the left who have made the suggestion that jobs are the key to ending terrorism.

Let's just leave it at, Mandy Patinkin is a great actor.

If there is one thing that stands out for me when it comes to this region, it's oil. One can easily argue that oil is one of the most valuable resources in the world, and if you have it, there's a lot of money there to go around. The problem is not the money. The problem is how that money gets filtered down to the little people, and the lack of any real defined government bodies—or when there are government bodies they are nothing more than terrorist regimes of their own, oppressing the people with unbending power and control, and a mindset that everything in the West is simply evil and must be eradicated. The people in power have one intent and that is to create an army of angry citizens, and they do this by holding them down. The people of these countries are essentially prisoners in their own country. And to a large extent they are driven as well by the luxuries promised to them by their religion after death. They seek paradise not through hard work and thoughtful engineering of their own futures, but through death. For them, it is the only way out of the hell in which they are currently living. And doing the bidding of their God is akin to an instant key to the gates of heaven, and that paradise they so long for.

The truth is that with such a valuable resource at their very feet, any of these countries could be using the dollars that resource generates to create their own infrastructure. They could build great roads. They could have great medical technology in their grasp. They could build irrigation systems and feed their people with agricultural products. And they could build the foundations of other areas of business which could help them to develop trade relations with other developed countries—affording their people a better life and a better future for their children that is not fraught with violence and hatred and endless wars.

But in order for that to happen, the people and those in power have to want that to happen. They need to foster and encourage that. Instead of building massive multiple mansions in the desert for the so-called leaders, money could be funneled into doing these very things. But it is about power. It is about control. And of course, I don't think one can readily discount that it isn't about their religion to a large extent as well. Despite the claims of many Muslims who preach that their faith is one of calm and peace, there are many facets of the Koran and of the Islamic faith that suggests otherwise. Death to all infidels is not just a mantra, it is a teaching of the leaders of the Islamic faith and is a primary tenet of Middle Eastern culture as a whole. How do you get past that? When it comes to faith, it's hard to break that. In fact, it is virtually impossible. Just ask any Christian how important their faith is to their way of life? Their faith is so strong that many, or most, would not think twice about denouncing their God or their faith just to avoid being killed for it. A man holds a machete to your neck and says that if you are Christian you will be beheaded—and you go ahead and proclaim your faith anyway.

That is profoundly powerful.

What is the key to ending terrorism? I really don't know. I do know that we should make every effort, however, to stop them in the meantime. We should do anything we can to unseat those in power, and strategize ways to help them to build stronger governments that are intended to create policy that fosters growth as opposed to oppression, and allows for decisions to be made to build their cities and towns and empower their citizens using the resources they already have.

But to simply give that to them? That's ludicrous!

I said before that the people have to want it. The leaders have to want it. Perhaps it is a ridiculous analogy, but how many times have we tossed people into forced rehab only to have them come out and go right back to their lives they way they were before? Who gets off the dope? Those who have hit rock bottom and who have finally decided for themselves they no longer want to be dope heads. We give housing and cell phones and food to the poor in our own country to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars a year. How many poverty stricken communities have been rebuilt as a result? How many people have gotten off the dole and used the opportunity to create better lives for themselves? They are few and far between because those who want it and who are willing to do the hard work for it are, well...few and far between. Giving things away doesn't help to solve any problem.

And that is the reason Mandy Patinkin's fundamental thought is flawed, as well as the entire left's view that there is such a simple solution to what happens to be a very complicated problem. As one has often told me, "If it were so easy, someone would already have done it."

For me the heart of the question of how you end terrorism is how do you get terrorists to no longer want to be terrorists? How do you get them to decide for themselves that enough is enough, and make choices to change it? If they are not ready or willing to make changes that alter the future for themselves, and of their own desire and making, nothing we do to try to force that issue with jobs and opportunity thrusted at them is going to make that change for them anymore than having a job guarantees you won't be poor—or handing someone a welfare check ensures that someone will be afforded an automatic opportunity.

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