I was watching CNN last night, and friends, don’t panic, I haven’t gone to the dark side. I was watching an episode of the series “Parts Unknown”, hosted by Anthony Bourdain. I am quite a fan of the show and although Bourdain’s politics and mine are completely opposite, I enjoy his show and actually like the guy (at least as much as you can from watching a TV show and reading his books).
The episode last night was set in Beirut, Lebanon. Those of you that know your history will remember that Beirut was once known as the Paris of the Middle East, a vibrant, cosmopolitan city of many people and faiths living together in relative harmony for thousands of years. That’s a rare thing in the Middle East.
In Bourdain’s conversations with different locals discussing the future of Beirut and the region in general, one thing struck me. Asked what the most important or critical thing that has to be dealt with for the future stability of the region was, everyone answered in the same way. ISIS. Did you get that? ISIS. These are Muslims he’s talking with. Bourdain was dining with one fellow in his home, with the man’s family all around. This man has an AK-47 hanging on the kitchen door. This fellow Bourdain was dining with was an ardent supporter of Hezbollah. 99% of the people in the neighborhood he lives in, support Hezbollah and they all agree, the biggest threat to stability in the region is ISIS and has to be stamped out. Hezbollah is worried about ISIS.
And our President thinks ISIS is contained. The Paris killings? Oh, that’s “a setback”. Climate change is our most pressing issue regarding national security? For the love of God, will someone tell our President that the people living in the region aren’t too worried about climate change? They are worried about their lives, their way of life. Will what happened in Paris have to happen here in the United States before the people in the current administration wake up? Or, maybe they are just gambling with our lives and the lives of other good people. Ask the French. Ask the Russians. How about Kurd’s in the region. Maybe check with the Yazidis, while they are still left. I know, how about #Our Lives Matter? Or, better yet, #ISIS Lives Don’t Matter? Quit playing politics and planning your legacy and get after them POTUS, before it’s too late.