As we are hyper-aware of ISIS thanks to the media, I want to ask my hawkish friends, where has Islamic extremism been? Where was it 35 years ago? What is the different between then and now?
It is an easy answer. They have always existed. We buy their fringe groups to fight each other. We have installed and deposed dictators for at least six decades in that region. You don’t think that causes instability?
What else have we done? We give out weapons. So not only are they able to fight one another, they can fight us, and torture their own people. All of those horrors visited upon one another, the bigger groups blame on us. That’s how they come here. That’s how they became strong. We gave them a unifying outside enemy.
Still people think that intervening is the solution. We can’t keep giving them weapons. That is the reason there is this mass exodus into Europe. Our guns. The entire reason Al Qaeda attacked us was Osama’s exile from Sudan in 1996 that was a result of pressure by the US. We caused it with our dumbness.
“Terrorising you, while you are carrying arms on our land, is a legitimate and morally demanding duty. These youth are different from your soldiers. Your problem will be how to convince your troops to fight, while our problem will be how to restrain our youths to wait for their turn in fighting and in operations.”
– Osama Bin Laden 1996
“There is America, full of fear from its north to its south, from its west to its east. Thank God for that. What America is tasting now is something insignificant compared to what we have tasted for scores of years. Our nation [the Islamic world] has been tasting this humiliation and this degradation for more than 80 years. Its sons are killed, its blood is shed, its sanctuaries are attacked, and no one hears and no one heeds.”
-Osama Bin Laden 2001
How can we say we did not create these monsters in our own image? How can our solution be more of the same?