Good Guys vs. Bad Guys (USA vs. Islamic State)
All of us who treasure the privilege of being Jordanian (or a citizen of any other feudal time-warp that isn’t controlled by Al Qaeda) were spiritually uplifted this week when a squadron of Jordanian airplanes dropped hundreds of bombs on Islamic State targets in what used to be Syria and Iraq. When the bombs exploded, they killed human beings (and anything else in the area) by either shredding their bodies with small projectiles or immolating them on the spot. You know, burning them alive.
That sounds unpleasant, doesn’t it? Some might even call doing such a thing to another living creature, especially a fellow human being, “barbaric.” But when you’re avenging the death of a soldier, one of your country’s pilots, the barbarism is justified. How? Hard to explain. Suffice to say the barbarism is justified in ways that it’s not when jihadis douse a prisoner with lighter fluid and videotape his burning.
This is all clear, right? Certain acts that are clearly inexcusable, horrifying, disgusting, cowardly, and evil are sometimes heroic, satisfying, and triumphant when done by the right sort of people. The ones on our team, not theirs. And, no, we’re not being ideological here. Just standing up for freedom, etc.
The United States of America tortures prisoners. Islamic State tortures prisoners. Choose which side is correct.
The United States of America attacks sovereign nations without any formal declaration of war. Islamic State attacks sovereign nations without any formal declaration of war. Choose which side is correct.
Islamic State teaches children to hate and exterminate [Americans, Israelis, the Other]. The United States of America teaches children to hate and exterminate [Islamic State militants, certain Afghanis, certain Iraqis, certain Iranians, certain Yemenis, certain Somalis, certain Pakistanis, and the Other]. Choose which side is misleading their youth.
Islamic State vows to rewrite maps, exact vengeance and punish all who object. The United States of America…well, we would never do such things.
Here’s the easiest way to keep things straight: Everything that terrorists do is unequivocally wrong, and everything we and our allies (for the time being) do is actually quite right. Now you don’t have to worry your pretty little head about this anymore.
You’re welcome. And may God bless the United States of America (and our current roster of allies).