The U.S. government is planning to forgive a billion dollars in Egyptian debt - “as part of a plan to bolster Egypt's move to democracy, administration officials said [emphasis mine].”
Hey, all you angry Egyptians, ease off, will you? We’re ripping up your promissory notes.
Of course, the violence in Egypt and Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East isn’t about money. It’s about an irrational hatred fueled by the extremist views of a triumphalist medieval religion that has set down deep roots among millions of people seeking to give purpose to their otherwise dull and hopeless lives by participating in a cultish movement bent on building a delusional paradise based on destruction and death. It is a Grand Distraction from the dreary and sometimes desperate pointlessness of their daily existence, an opportunity to shine, spiritually, in a corrupt and oppressive temporal world that they have neither the wit nor the courage to change along humane and practical lines. It is the clannishness and tribalism of the Bedouin writ large, and The Other, no matter what proofs he may offer in token of peace and friendship, is always the foe, an obstacle to the creation of the universal Dar al-Islam.
In short, these are not people who are going to shed their spiritual “purity” in return for indoor plumbing, wide-screen television sets or even the voting booth. A sea change in the world view of the militant Muslims may someday be possible; miracles do happen. But in the meantime, a transformation of the way we set about defending our own civilization from their pathological violence is vital. We cannot buy their friendship, we cannot assuage their anger with pusillanimous apologies, we cannot prevent their mass psychotic episodes with pretty speeches. If they will not love us, then let them fear us - and discover, to their cost, the full measure of our wrath. Believe what you will, thou sons of the Prophet, but know that you draw your daggers at the peril of your lives.
I speak of an ideal, of course, not of what we have under the current administration.
And I offer up my prayers for the souls of those Americans murdered in Libya, and for their families.