A Golden Opportunity

Faced with the unintended (but not wholly unforeseeable) side-effects of toppling yet another leader in the Mideast, we Americans have been given a gift — a golden opportunity as it were. Enemies of civilization masquerading as radical “Muslims” have destroyed Syria and have threatened to destroy other countries in the region — even France, Britain, Russia and the United States.

After World War I, traditional ethnic boundaries in the Mideast were redrawn in an attempt to homogenize these very diverse cultures which historically mixed as well as oil, tears, and sand. Following decades of bungled foreign policy which began far before Bush’s inept blundering in Iraq and Afghanistan, the region became virtually ungovernable. It took one autocratic dictator after another to hold these tribes together. But the west stepped in again and again and toppled these despots in the name of “freedom.” As a result, the people of the Mideast have known little else than unrest and war and a growing hatred of the west. It’s no wonder great swaths of the mostly Muslim population are convinced that Bush’s blunder was not to bring “democracy” to their country, but to restart the Crusades and force Christianity on their society. Perhaps our goal was to support one sect of Islam over another given the leaders we propped up in Iraq and Afghanistan and the leaders we vilified in Iran. So yes, they hate us, burn our flags and burn down our embassies. At this point, many Muslims wouldn’t trust us no matter what we promise or how many American lives we sacrifice to “bring peace” to the region.

Each “enemy” killed in war has a mother, a father and often a family — and all are alienated by their death. It’s a never-ending cycle.

As I said, at this point in history, we have been given a golden opportunity. The refugees fleeing the barbarians, the men, women and children, the young, the old, the men willing to work and the women who stand and work beside them need us. These innocents simply want peace and a safe place to raise their families, send them to school, pray in their own mosques, and go to a soccer game without worrying about anything but the refs. Besides shelter and food, they need someone to trust, especially since the countries in their own region have denied them help. As a result, they have been shuffled throughout Europe and still they come — simply seeking shelter and safe haven.

We as a nation can provide all of this and more. We owe them at least refuge. Each man, woman, and child we help, each family we rescue from the barbarians, will learn our motives are pure. They will learn we’re also a diverse country teeming with refugees from all over the world, including castoffs from other American blunders where we left entire populations stranded. They will learn there are thriving Muslim communities in America willing to take them in as well as tolerant Christians, Jews, and others willing to share their wealth. Of course, there are those who fear “foreigners.” Why wouldn’t they? Americans have been fed a steady diet of fear, ethnic bigotry and hatred for years by those whose political futures depend on it. These are the same for-profit politicians who created this problem in the first place.

Remember, it was our own ignorance of history, of cultures and simple unadulterated blundering, greed, and lust for profit that brought this flood of desperation to our doorstep. If we ever want the Muslim population to trust us, to live among us in peace wherever they live, we need to make room at our Thanksgiving tables for these people — as many as we possibly can, and more. It’s the American way. It’s what we do. It says so on the Statue of Liberty.

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