President Obama, I know you have a hard job.
It’s a rough time to be president of course. The Muslim World is stuck in an ongoing identity crisis, shedding itself of its tin-pot dictators leftover from its misguided experiment with socialism in the 20th century. We were supposed to be helping them through this process, thinking they’d appreciate our help and begin the transition to democratic governments like the former Eastern Bloc states did. Isn’t that why we invaded Iraq to begin with?
But we found Muslims don’t seem to want what we think of as “democracy.” War and disorder erupted and we got dragged in. In the resulting vacuum, Wahhabism and other Islamic radicalism have spread like a cancer through the barrels of Russian Kalashnikov’s and American RPG’s. The extremists don’t really care where the weapons come from. But they know the guns will keep coming because they have us figured out.
They know that what motivates people motivates policy. So they taunt us with beheadings and threats and challenge us to fight them in the dirt, knowing it will invoke the kind of hatred from Americans that they thrive on. It will bring American soldiers back, lead to more violence from American guns, and unify disparate factions under their flag. They know we can’t say no because we have an image to maintain.