John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Pandora’s Box

Posted on February 19, 2015
Middle east.jpg

"Middle east" by Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

According to Wikipedia,
In classical Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman on Earth. Zeus ordered Hephaestus to create her. So he did, using water and earth.[4] The gods endowed her with many gifts: Athena clothed her, Aphrodite gave her beauty, Apollo gave her musical ability, and Hermes gave her speech.[5]

When Prometheus stole fire from heaven, Zeus took vengeance by presenting Pandora to Prometheus' brother Epimetheus. Pandora was given a wedding gift of a beautiful jar, with instructions to not open it under any circumstance. Impelled by her curiosity (given to her by the gods), Pandora opened it and all evil contained therein escaped and spread over the earth.

Over the last ten years, American leaders have unwittingly conspired to open Pandora’s box in the Middle East, and now we are reaping the evils.

First, George W. Bush invaded Iraq, and then Barack Obama picked the wrong side in the Arab Spring.

Perhaps neither could avoid the inevitable.  Perhaps we had no choice but to take out the evil tyrant, Saddam Hussein.  Perhaps we had no choice but to back insurgents against malevolent and anti-democratic characters like Khadaffi, Assad and Mubarak.

But we have learned the hard way that the Middle East isn’t ready for democracy, that Arabic Islam especially can’t handle nor doesn’t really want our vision of a pluralistic society.

By decapitating the dictators, we have opened Pandora’s Box, and now we must deal with the consequences.

The President hosted a summit on violent extremism, as if the battle for the soul of Islam is really a universal malady that equally impacts all civilizations and religious traditions.

Certainly, Christianity had its own religious war 500 years ago, but we have come along way since then.

Our world has a particular problem with Islam and its particularly violent civil war.

This isn’t just about Sunni vs. Shiite, although there are certainly elements of that familiar rivalry.

It’s more about the 13th Century vs. the 21st Century.

And right now, the 13th Century seems to be the most successful in attracting young, male and violent characters who are the best at perpetrating atrocities on their fellow Muslims and many non-Muslims.

These young males have a huge problem with women, which makes the Pandora analogy all the more relevant.

I am surprised that America’s feminist movement isn’t more energized by the atrocities committed by the Islamic religion.

Talk about an existential threat to a movement!

The President and his team have embarrassingly avoided identifying precisely what the problem here is.  This isn’t a battle against violent extremism in the abstract.  It’s a battle against a group that wants to establish a 13th Century Islamic Caliphate and brutally subjugate women, Christians and Jews.

We need boots on the ground to fight these characters, although I don’t think they necessarily need to be American boots.   As a matter of fact, I think the more the Americans lead on the front-lines, the more ineffective we will be in conquering modernity’s foes.

Instead of hosting an extremism summit, I would host a war council and I would include representatives from all of the actual countries that are threatened the most by ISIS.   These include Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Libya and Syria.

This war council would come up with a game plan to defeat the extremists, end the anarchy in the region, and establish workable government that provides basic services to the women and children who are most victimized by the brutality of the 13th century warriors.

Is this practical?  Maybe not, but it seems to me it is a better alternative than the mindless drivel that came out of the President’s “extremism” summit.

We don’t all need to hold hands and sing Kumbaya.   We need to actually win the war and beat the Caliphate-ilists.

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