Day Three, The ISIS Gals: It’s the ultimate rebellion. Three teenaged Colorado girls, lured by the call of moral high ground (as advertised on Facebook), attempted to fly to Turkey to join ISIS. I can imagine the conversations they had about it:
“God, the United States is so phony.”
“Yeah, they’re such hypocrites. It’s cray-cray.”
“We should like totally join ISIS just to spite them.”
“Awesome! I’ll swipe the money from my dad’s wallet and text you when I’ve got my burka packed.”
I mean, I get it. Teens are ignorant, idealistic, and impressionable. You give them a cause that will piss off their parents, they’ll join it. But fighting for ISIS? How could that possibly sound like a good idea? They don’t have iPhones and XBoxes waiting over there, you know. All you get are bullets, bombs, and beheadings. It’s in the name of God, though, so it’s okay. Now that’s honesty!
Get real — ISIS isn’t some clan of holy soldiers out to cleanse the earth of sin. They’re a gang of thugs using religion to hide their violent, expansionist ambitions. So, in that way, they’re really not all that different from the US. Morally speaking, defecting to ISIS is a lateral move at best.
Do you think ISIS has what it takes to turn things around, to wash the western scourge away? The war for the Middle East has been fought for centuries, and it will continue for centuries. If it’s not the US bumbling around there, it’s going to be Russia. If it’s not Russia, it’s going to be China. It doesn’t matter if they say they have God on their side either. This war has never had anything to do with religion, freedom, democracy, or any other noble-sounding institution. Anyone who says so is on the make. It’s all just resources, man. You know how in a game of StarCraft, every player converges on the minerals and gases in the center of the map? That’s what’s going on here. Oil, natural gas, pipelines…everyone wants a piece of the Middle East, but nobody wants to lose face, so you wind up with an endless hurricane of power plays that leaves the broken bodies of misguided young people behind.
Yeah, the US government lies. Yeah, the US military tortures. And yeah, US businesses outsource and put US citizens out of work. BUT IT’S STILL BETTER HERE than in most places in the world. The toilets flush, bombs aren’t going off in the malls, and we can say whatever we want without fear of being stoned. I’m pretty big on that.
Youngsters these days. Always ready to throw their lives away for some upstart terrorist group. I will kill and die to protect my loved ones, my home, and my freedom to live as I choose, but don’t ever tell me to kill and die for God. The God I know wants us to live, to fulfill our potentials, to express ourselves as richly and joyfully as we can. The USA may be held together by lies and illusions, but that’s no reason to sign your life over to the first guy who preaches against it. If more youngsters stopped listening to the power-mad and started trusting the God within themselves, I believe that we’d actually start to see the end of war.