Eternal Sleep

Some wonder why young Muslim men join ISIS or al Qaeda, and do the terrible things they do. Well, some do it for the fun, some out of a sense of duty and some out of religious fervor. But basically they do it because war is part of the human condition. War is built into human nature. Many years ago a zoologist named Desmond Morris correctly characterized humans as naked apes, though perhaps unfairly to the apes. Archaeologists have enlisted the Geneticists in tracing the migration patterns of ancient peoples through DNA. What is clear is that people did not trek long distances to new homes because they wanted to; they left their homes because someone drove them out. The Gauls, Scythians, Celts, Huns, Alans and others killed and enslaved each other in the process of creating a recognizable map of Northern Europe. The Middle East was fought over by Hittites, Egyptians, Assyrians, and many others thousands of years before Mohammed was born. Sherman and LeMay understood history, and the history of man from the Paleolithic to today is a recitation of tribal attacks on other tribes. The rise of the European nation state saw the movement of European law, customs and power into tribal areas outside Europe, ushering in a period of relative peace in areas of the world formerly riven with tribal conflict. This period of relative peace and prosperity was called Colonialism, and after World War 2, at the urging of the United States, the European colonial powers released their hold on these tribal areas, who had remained, despite centuries of exposure to European law and customs, the tribes they had always been. The absence of European law and power resulted in the return of tribal lawlessness and conflict, which we see now in the Middle East and Africa. How much of this renewed tribal conflict can be placed at the feet of Obama is problematic. The withdrawal of the United States from these tribal areas was only the last, and perhaps not the most important of the withdrawals that led to the rise of sectarian conflict among the tribes newly released from the overlordship of Europe. We will not see a return to stability in the Middle East and Africa until the tribes settle things themselves. History repeats itself, and the answer is always the same: let them fight it out until somebody wins.

Sticks and stones, or sword and spear
Life was cruel and cheap
Sound of horseman, leap of fear
Brought eternal sleep
Young jihadis, justice bound
Honor they would keep
Martyrdom they quickly found
And eternal sleep
Trails of sorrow, vales of tears
Darkness sad and deep
Tells the story down the years
Of eternal sleep

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