It's all our fault?
International events don't get much attention here at the Cold Filtered Ramblings.
Then Boston happened.
As we come to learn more about the bombing brothers we're finding out that they somehow went from normal to "self-radicalized", from following the pursuits most folks are into at their age to jihad. In the minds of these two guys and others before them, the U.S. is seen as a persecutor of Islam, as the source of all evil in the Middle East. This moves these young men to commit unspeakable acts against innocents, both here and abroad. We've seen this story before, and we've come to accept it as some sort of perverted norm.
"It is amazing to me how we've come to accept this non sequitur and how easily we've allowed radical Muslim groups and their apologists to get away with it," he writes. "We surely must not tar all of Islam in this. Having lived in the Muslim world, I know how unfair that would be. But we must ask a question only Muslims can answer: What is going on in your community that a critical number of your youth believes that every American military action in the Middle East is intolerable and justifies a violent response, and everything Muslim extremists do to other Muslims is ignorable and calls for mostly silence?"
Watching the Sunday talk shows, I came across Senator John McCain discussing Syria where its thought the embattled government might've used chemical agents on innocents, a move that might trigger some sort of U.S. intervention if proven beyond doubt. McCain talked of someone in a refugee camp, pointing to young Syrian children and saying that they, too, will turn against our country if Americans don't respond. So let me get this right: if we intervene in Syria, we probably turn a certain number of young men into jihadists because it'll be seen as Uncle Sam sticking his nose where it doesn't belong. And, if we don't act, we run the risk of turning Syrian young people against us as well. And Syria, according to a quick Google search, is up to 90% Muslim.
Friedman's questions need answering, and answering soon. As easy as it was for me to use the web to find out the religious composition of Syria, it's just as easy for an angry young person to become "self-radicalized", to want to start an individual jihad against perceived injustices blamed on our country, with actions aimed at people who had nothing to do with any of it.