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Why Nation Building Is Important
I’m tired of hearing the crap about how we need to bring the troops home because all we’re doing is nation building. They all cry, “what’s so important about nation building? Why do we need to stay the course? We’ve won; bring the troops home.” I’d like to take a few moments to offer an education to those of you asking these questions. They are good ones and deserve answers. But, before you proceed any further, you really need to put your learning hats on and set aside your partisan hoodies.
One of the root causes of terrorism is simple: poverty. Poverty breeds illiteracy. Illiteracy breeds ignorance. Ignorance breeds susceptibility. Susceptibility breeds extremism. Extremism is the motivation for terrorist acts. The reason that most terrorists these days tend to come from Islamic nations is because most Islamic nations tend to be dirt poor. With Saudi Arabia being the main exception, you just don’t see Muslim extremists coming out of places like Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain or Djibouti.
Practically every Islamic extremist is illiterate and unable to read the words of the Koran on his/her own. The only way they are able to hear the word of Allah through Mohammad is through the teachings of a cleric. Most Muslims don’t even own a copy of the Koran because they can’t afford to buy one. But, even if they could, they wouldn’t be able to read it. So, they have to take the word of their extremist clerics who say that Koran is about jihad, killing, revenge, etc. They skip past the peaceful parts and turning the other cheek. Don’t get me wrong; there are violent parts in the Koran just as there are violent parts to the Bible. The key is context. The ignorant and illiterate don’t get context. While I was in Iraq, I picked up every copy of the Koran I found in decimated building or after raids of terrorist safe houses. As I went about my business, I would put these books into the hands of people that had never owned one in their lives. Automatically, I had made a friend. This little act of compassion brought kisses and warm embraces from lukewarm initial impressions.
A second cause of terrorism is a lack of democracy. Practically all terrorists come from either a kingdom, a dictatorship, or a socialist-type government. The purpose of terrorism is to gain attention to a cause when one believes he isn’t being listened to. In Democracies, the government supposedly REPRESENTS the people (no pun against the US intended), so terrorism tends to be non-existent in these cultures, not counting PETA or the ACLU. It’s probably more true that nations that practice true democratic ideals have less “terroristic” tendencies than democracies. When people feel like they have a voice, there is no need to resort to violence.
The problem we face right now is that Islamic teachings are diametrically opposed to the idea of a democracy. Islam is more in line with Socialism than capitalism or democracy. In fact, Islam despises capitalism. It is about the collective and shuns individuality. This is why men all wear similar clothing and facial hair. This is why women are not permitted to show their faces. This is why so many Muslims are kept in poverty. They are to be dependent on the Caliphate for their needs. The individual does not know what is best for them. Allah and the Caliphate does!
So, by building nations, building schools, developing self worth, and giving the people a voice in democracy we are directly combating terrorism. When the populace is educated, they do not need to rely upon extremist clerics to dictate the doctrinal teachings of a peaceful religion. They can read it for themselves and form their own opinions. When they are represented in a government that is comprised of elected officials, the people at least feel like they’re being listened to. Their basic needs are taken care of and they are given the freedom to progress as far as they are capable. They become individually worthy and important.
There are some who think that $10 billion a month doing this sort of thing is a “waste”. I strongly disagree. $10 billion a month is a drop in the bucket to the prospects of a future full of nations breeding hate and dissension. There are some who feel that a Soldier’s life is not worthy of this cause. I would argue it’s exactly what we signed up for. Freedom is priceless. It’s value cannot be measured in blood or bullion. Our nation and our military have learned this lesson and the fact that Nation Building has become part of our doctrine is proof. By building nations, we’re building a future of peace. And educated populace is a peaceful populace. You don’t see any surgeons, lawyers, politicians, or businessmen strapping bombs on their bodies and blowing up checkpoints and recruiting centers, do you?