Threat - A Different Perspective
once in a while unfortunate events converge on the world stage
that result in violent revolution where thousands and even millions
of people are killed. Sometimes the onsets of these revolutions
are morally justifiable. Sometimes not. The chaos of revolution
often opens doors to leaders who are at the best ideological extremists,
and at the worst maniacal psychopaths.
to the French Revolution, with its Reign of Terror,
where public beheadings were common. The communist revolutions in
Russia, China and Cambodia each resulted in millions of deaths and
untold suffering. There were many others as well. The larger of
these nations sought to expand their philosophies through war. The
smaller ones could not. They were too busy trying to survive.
all these revolutions passed and something else took their place.
Before that happened, each suffered mightily from internal struggles
for power, a failure of their original premise to produced anticipated
results, external powers applying economic and military pressures,
and the desire of every day people for a better, more compassionate
way of living.
the media hype, ISIL would fall under the category of being
a small revolution. Yes, it is especially and purposely brutal,
and markets that brutality toward civilized populations who are
susceptible to fear.
They are gambling
that their sophisticated media productions will not only attract
supporters, which it does, and weaken the confidence of more powerful
enemies. Like us.
that, despite our great military, we are spoiled by our comforts
and easily frightened. They believe that our heroes are fiction,
our values false, our resolve empty bravado, our history meaningless,
our wealth decadent, and our life-principles godlessly selfish.
What they don't
realize, but will eventually learn, is that they are wrong - deadly
culture is far from being what it should, it is almost universally
recognized as being the midwife to many of humanity's highest aspirations.
While they might look upon our vices and inevitable hypocrisies
with disdain, today's Western values, even partially achieved, shine
brilliantly compared to ISIL's intolerance, demonic contempt for
human life and regressive goals. Everything they do and say will,
in the end, lead to their demise.
Unlike the architects'
of ISIL's dream of a Caliphate, I would never assume to speak
for God, or claim to know exactly what God wants. But if we are
to believe that God is a moral Being, it seems impossible
to think that he would prefer the sick, unconscionable barbarity
of ISIL over a culture whose search for truth has done more for
humanity in every sphere of conscience than any other. We are from
perfect, but compared to the monstrous atrocities they have committed
in God's name, Western values, minus greed of course, remain humanity's
It would do
ISIL well to know that Western nations have fought and defeated
dictators and armies the size of which ISIL could scarcely imagine.
And after we did, Western values then kicked into play to assist
those previous enemies to take their place among the progressive
community of nations. Surely this is much closer to some divine
plan than public beheadings, systematic rape, oppressions of women
and criminal punishments that were outdated in the Middle Ages.
What we must
do, as civilians united by reason and conscience, is inspire a popular
enthusiasm of our ideals. Indeed, this is how we become worthy of
them. By embracing the best parts of our legacy, we will easily
resist and conquer the irrational fears that ISIL works so hard
And as their
soldiers fall or quit the field, the lie that motivates them will
lose its power as well. It will then be our obligation to make sure
that our ideals remain intact in order to teach them a better way.