Practicality demands guts
TBO.comBusiness entrepreneur T. Boone Pickens, a proven American commodity, recently offered two pieces of advice for the country. We would do well to listen.
Published: September 21, 2012
Published: September 21, 2012
First, he says we must stop depending on oil from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. America should become energy self-sufficient. Pickens is pouring his money into research and development of alternative sources.
Second, he advocates that we get out of the Mid-East — completely out. While too many politicians tiptoe around in "politically correct" mud, Pickens says plainly that the culture of the West is incompatible with the culture of the East.
Pickens' points are germane to our survival. No longer should an isolationist position frighten or condemn us. We are the "land of the free" and have offered a home to freedom seekers for more than 200 years. We need make no apologies if we must rein ourselves in as the world turns upside-down.
The naively-named "Arab Spring" became the "Arab Winter" in less than two years. What we called cries for democracy are civil wars between competing factions of Islam.
Our hurt feelings of betrayal over the 9/11 attacks on our embassies in Libya and Egypt only served to unleash the pre-existing hate.
Within a week, more than 20 Islamic nations joined the fray. When looking for a fight, it is not hard to find one, such as blaming this havoc on an unimportant Internet film insulting Muhammad.
President Barack Obama's intellectual mindset seeks to reason through this cultural clash. Romney's ignorance spoke something about as silly as a Miss America contestant wanting "world peace": "I think people should have the common courtesy and judgment — the good judgment — not to be — not to offend other peoples' faiths."
Is Romney living in the USA? The place where flags and Bibles are burned, where movies portraying Morgan Freeman as God are made, where most Christian reference books list Mormonism as "cult."
Neither reasoning nor platitudes will touch this. Pickens' common sense and practical action might.
Already at least five of OPEC's members — Algeria, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya and Saudi Arabia — took part in the Arab Spring. How many of its 12 oil-producing countries will embrace the Arab Winter?
In America, law tolerates blasphemy. In Islamic countries, law chops off body parts and stones to death those who violate its dictates.
Our embassy in Israel, our one true friend in the Mid-East, deserves immediate attention.
The Congressional Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 dictated moving it from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by May 31, 1999. Every six months since, an American president puts it on hold. The Islamic nations rightly translate that as weakness and disloyalty. Our hypocrisy prevents the practical, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem," and thus the receiving of its blessing, "They shall prosper that love thee" (Psalm 122:6).
Both Pickens and God's practicality demand guts. Do we still understand that?
Finding truth requires the right starting point. That is the quest of this column. If we seek simple truth, we can find it together — side-by-side. Linda M. Downing is a freelance writer. Contact her at lindadowning.com.