20060829 World Watch Focus: Doing Something About Something

     The headlines of recent months have been full of dire news and more dire predictions about a host if international issues, mostly swirling around Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, with a lesser focus on places like Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan, Indonesia, and the Philippines. These headlines and their associated articles, however, point to a real fact that even these articles, their authors, and their readers often miss, and that is the fact that all of these places are part of real problems that really need to be dealt with.

     While the media and most of the world fret about the problems elucidated by these headlines, these same people sit back and watch with an almost morbid fascination as the events surrounding these places unfold, mostly with direct and dire consequences to the rest of the world, especially the West. Like the first licking flames of a forest fire, this news and these events call for a single response- that is action- , yet that response is almost nowhere to be found.

     Make no mistake, diplomatic dallying, political rhetoric, and misplaced hope in the humanity of villains who have already demonstrated their inhumanity repeatedly is not action. Taking matters to the UN, the EU, NATO, the G8, or any other international body hamstrung by the need for consensus is just another façade that distracts from the real need for action to deal with these troubles before they burn out of control.

     Of course, to deal with such trouble, one must first acknowledge what the trouble is. This trouble is twofold. First, the nations of the civilized world have turned a blind eye for too long to the actions and growing power of despotic regimes around the world. Especially in the West, this blindness is a result of a pervading and overstated sense of guilt over a colonial past along with a falsely held since that such nations will learn from the example of more civilized ones.

     Second, this growth of power and action is fueled by the rebirth and rapid growth of fundamentalist Islam. Even in the case of North Korea, fundamentalist Islam is a significant source of that nation’s revenue and political alliances that allow its despotic regime to continue. Fundamentalist Islam is the rebirth of the socio-religious political force that conquered nearly a third of the once Western world during its first expansion, now refocused on furthering that expansion in modern times.

     Now, the confluence of these two factors fuels most of the news coming from outside the United States, and that news signals a stark reality: now, more than ever, is the time for the free nations of the world, and if not the world, the West, to act in a concise and direct manner to put an end to these problems before they put and end to the free world. Some might say that such a case is overstated and itself designed as a scare tactic, but history shows that the initiative belongs to those who act first in world events. Any who doubt should simply look at the years leading up to World War Two.

     Therefore, now is the time to act, while the opportunity is still available and the initiative is still to be had. Now is the time to consider resolute action, whether that be political, economic, or even military, whether it be unilateral or a small group of dedicated nations. Now is the time for the world, the West, and the US to take a stand against tyranny and oppression, that is despotism and fundamentalist Islam, before those problems have the opportunity to grow beyond the capacity for them to be dealt with on advantageous terms.

     The consequences otherwise are dire and far reaching. Failure to act has the potential to set the world on a course of conflict and violence that has not been seen in centuries, but will no doubt set the stage for the events of centuries to come. The world stands poised on the edge of a murky brink, but that edge is one that can yet be stepped away from. All that step requires is action, but it is action that must be taken now.


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