America is a nation in conflict. It didn’t happen overnight, but it’s upon us now, and I’m not certain the “thinking heads” know how to resolve it. Most assuredly, I am not one of those thinking heads, so really all I have to offer is how it all began, and where I believe it’s going to lead.
On September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked in a cowardly fashion by a group of Middle East radicals. I deem it cowardly because they used innocent civilians and attacked innocent civilians. If they could speak, they would say that America had killed innocent civilians from their countries. However, there is a huge difference between collateral damage and two attacks that openly sought to kill non-military targets. If for no other reason, this differentiates what happened on that day versus what happened on December 7, 1941, the last time America was so attacked, and the last time that America was truly a nation in conflict.
In my mind, we responded to that attack in cowardly fashion. We started a war with a country that had little to do with the 911 incident. We justified it by saying that this was a horrid dictator who had weapons of mass destruction and who was killing his own people. The American public swallowed the lie about the weapons of mass destruction, and since this son-of-a-bitch had been torturing and killing his people for years, along with many other Middle Eastern dictators, what business was it of ours anyway. Thinking heads never bothered to tell us that the real culprits were Saudi Arabians because that country is/was/always had been run by our friends…an outright fabrication since the majority of the killers on 911 were Saudis and Saudi Arabia is/was/ and always will be a major training ground for terrorists as well as a major source of funding for terrorist activities.
When we are foolishly satisfied that we have done everything to remove the hated dictator and his family, we attempt to put into place a democratic form of government which cannot possibly succeed because of the manner in which much of the Middle East has behaved for about 3500 years before Jesus Christ was born. Tribes, tribal government, and tribal warfare worked for the inhabitants then and from what I’ve observed, it appears that it is exactly what many inhabitants prefer in the 21st Century. Other than the Israelis, it either takes a strong dictator with a strong and supportive military to hold the country involved hostage or it takes tribes defending their own small patch of ground without outside interference to keep outsiders out!
So, what happens? America pulls out of Iraq, leaving behind a cadre for training the ‘new’ military – who are from mixed tribes that hate each other by the way. The government that America tried to form is/was/ and always would be corrupt because it wasn’t truly representative – and never could be because of tribal hatred. Into the void steps Al Qaeda, against whom America unleashes its might and “destroys,” it says here. Few talk about the fact that in the 1980s, we loved Al Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden as well as several other terrorist organizations in the Middle East because they were a buffer against the then Soviet Union. In other words, America wanted to have everything its own way, and if we could find a villain, well, what the hell, let’s make use of our military to put things right. There’s only one little problem with that. In putting “things right,” people die…on both sides, and in America’s case, around 7,000 men and women have been killed.
From the ashes of Al Qaeda or just from pure hatred, up comes the head of ISIS, far more organized, far more intellectual, far more tech savvy, and far more dangerous. Why? Because they want to take on the world. They don’t give a damn who you are because if you’re not with them, you have to die. Accept their version of the Quran or die; in fact, even if you accept their version, you still might have to die…ie, they are fanatics. So what does America do? It leads the fight against ISIS. And what does ISIS do? It radicalizes Muslims all over the world to take action…take action in Spain, in England, in France, in America, in wherever they can find someone in whatever country who is willing to go out and kill the citizens of that country even if they have to die doing it. So, whether you’re a spectator at the Boston Marathon or at a club in Orlando; whether you’re a soldier at Fort Hood or a government health worker in San Bernadino, you don’t know when or where some radicalized Muslim who declares loyalty to ISIS is going to attack next. To date, ISIS has launched 143 attacks in 29 countries and have killed 2,043 people. Don’t you believe that is enough to cause America to become a nation in conflict? There are people who become paralyzed by hearing of the attacks by ISIS. There are others who want to carry their weapons and shoot anyone who looks vaguely Middle Eastern.
To further complicate an already complex situation, members of America’s black minority became enraged when a white policeman shot a black man in Ferguson, Missouri. A new slogan sprang up, “Black Lives Matter.” Then a black man was killed in New York when a banned choke-hold was used on him by a white police officer…and the slogan became a movement. Next, it was two white policemen shooting a black man in Baton Rouge that was captured on a cell phone and the video went viral. Not long after, the same thing occurred in Minnesota when a white policeman shot a black man four times…he bled out before help could be called. And you don’t think this doesn’t put America in conflict. It should also be noted, in all fairness, that despite making up just 13% of the population, blacks committed half of homicides in the United States for nearly 30 years. DOJ statistics show that between 1980 and 2008, black people committed 52% of homicides. In 2013, black criminals committed 38% of the murders. Whites accounted for just 31 percent. This beats Pareto’s Principle where 80% of the trouble is caused by 20% of the populace. And are you beginning to get a picture of why America is a nation in conflict?
The straw that has put America completely on edge is the appearance of Donald Trump. In his acceptance speech before the Republican National Convention and god-only-knows-how-many television viewers, he said nothing to allay American’s fears. He preyed on them. He painted a picture of America so dark that one might have wondered if the apocalypse was going to occur right after he spoke or the following morning. He has fed into the conflict that so many Americans are suffering today. He is right, however, in that we do have some problems, but they are solvable. Yes, ISIS is a threat, but lack of vigilance is also a threat. Not every man with a beard and long hair is a terrorist. Not every woman wearing a hijab or an abaya is concealing a weapon in her hair or under her cloak. Yes, we live in a different world, and yes, it is a world more of war than of peace, but I personally believe that Americans are hypocrites. We want peace, but we aren’t willing to take some important steps to get it. England has a CCTV system with some 5.9 million cameras. Many are not government run, but they cover much of the country’s important areas. In America, the ACLU and other anti-big-brother groups would be all over that like a white on rice so it becomes a matter of privacy versus protection.
Where do we go from here? Your guess is as good as mine. Do we and other countries go all out and crush ISIS? To what end? Won’t some other terror group take their place? If America can’t rid itself of its gang problems, how the heck do we believe we can crush terrorism at home? Will the black community and the law enforcement community ever trust one another? My guess is not so that conflict remains. Will we ever prevent guns from falling into the hands of the mentally unstable so that there will never be another Sandy Hook or Virginia Tech? Probably not. It’s a very dim outlook folks and until someone or someones admit our problems and become pissed enough to take action, America will remain…a nation in conflict.