January 30, 2006
The American military in Iraq has released five Iraqi female detainees, but deny it is because the captors of journalist Jill Carroll demanded they be set free. You can be sure it will be seen this way and there is no guarantee the fanatics will release Carroll. At this writing they have not, but even if they do, they will see kidnapping as a useful tool to get the United States to do their bidding.
I am still prepared to be persuaded that there is hope for the Middle East beyond Israel’s lone democracy. But here’s a question. Suppose, after spending lives and money on them a majority don’t want real democracy, or will embrace the values by which we live? Suppose they are happy and content to live in dirt and shout “god is great” all day long? What do we do then?
Suppose we can’t transpose our morality, religious tolerance and political pluralism on those who believe they get their marching orders directly from their god and anyone who doesn’t like it will be killed? What then?
Just some food for thought and I sincerely hope it doesn’t cause us indigestion.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.