Op-Ed: Why We Should Stay Away From ISIS and Mideast, Now More Than Ever

Fool me once shame on you…fool me twice, uh, what was the next line “dubya” sounded so immeasurably silly saying? When you think about it, shouldn’t we have learned by now just how many times we’ve managed to get fooled?

What is happening in the middle east right now should be the number one, biggest sign for us NOT to get involved! The situation unfolding before our eyes of ISIL and the power struggle between religious fundamentalists, freedom fighters, and the dictatorial government elite, is not a story that has sprung to life over the last few years. Indeed, this sadistic fairy tale has been in the making for the last 30 some odd years, ever since the fall of the Shah of Iran in 1979, that brought to power the regime of those Islamic fundamentalists called the Ayatollahs.

When Ayatollah Khomeini came to be, a star died in ways, and that star’s impact and light has taken over 30 years to reach our eyes and ears. Iran was, whether you liked the Shah or not, the only power in the region that kept the structure together, giving us in the west the comfort of knowing that the problems over there could be handled by the region’s powers themselves. As the 5th largest power during the Shah’s time, Iran was a secular and mostly free society, and before you folks out there who call the Shah a ruthless dictator get up in arms, relax! Yes there were mistakes and brutality shown by the hand of a king, but the ethos of the country remained that whether you wanted to go party at clubs and bars and listen to live music while drinking an ice cold beer and holding hands on the dance floor with your girlfriend, or you wanted to spend your every waking hour praying to the vision of an imaginary friend (yes, that is what we call anything that refers to gods and religious figures) then that was your prerogative!

That concept is a far distant image of anything we now know or have known since 1979, of the middle east and its outlook on life for its citizens. The fall of the Shah of Iran and the rise of the Islamic Republic is the direct cause of what we see today in the war torn and bloody region that is the middle east. And again, whether we like it or not, we in the west had a MAJOR hand to play in the Shah’s fall from power and the rise of the Ayatollah and his followers, so let’s give ourselves another pat on the back for our wonderful foreign policy history.

Now, over thirty years on, and many more meddling from our governments and our corrupt oil corporations in the region, we are seeing what western lead wars and the dirty hand of the Bush administration have created in the form of not only various factions of Al Qaeda, but ultimately ISIL itself.

But for some strange reason (money, power, geo-political influence etc etc) we can’t seem to swallow the ‘knowledge from experience pill’ that would keep us from making the same mistake over and over again. Going into any battle in the middle east is without a doubt the greatest favour we can do to keep ISIL and any future Islamic extremist monster groups alive and thriving. These are groups who feed and grow off the desperation of war and the impoverished and hate filled minds of those they try to rule over. For every bomb we drop and every weapon we throw into the hands of who we think are on our side, the monster expands and gets more ferocious than before. This is an ideology, a thought, a frame of mind that with no amount of weapon power and force, we in the west can beat, EVER!

So what do we do you ask? It’s easy to say all this but what’s the alternative? Well, the monster we helped bring to life over 30 years ago called the Islamic Republic of Iran, is the major player we should let handle the mess they themselves are a main culprit of. These, remember, are the same group of cloak wearing mullahs who consistently beat, torture and murder their own people for not abiding by their strict religious policies or wanting freedom of expression and human rights. If ISIL is to be beat at their own game of religious warfare, then the smartest option we can take is to step back, step out, and let the regime of the Ayatollah rise to the occasion of their own war.

We should not forget that this, for ISIL, Al Qaeda and the rest of the religious fighters, groups, and even ruling governments, is a holy war. A battle that none of us here in the west or far east can understand or try to beat, but a war that can only be fought and waged between those who choose to lead their lives with the word of Islam and whatever demented and twisted interpretation of it they have chosen to rule with. And let’s not kid ourselves, every middle eastern power, and every fighter fighting for power, has the same violent, brutal and barbaric approach to this religion, whether it is the regime of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, or it is Al Qaeda, Al Shabaab or this mad entity we’re about to get caught up with called ISIL.

This is not our war! This is not a battle worth sending our fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters in to fight for and risk their lives for. In fact we feel it must be said that, for us as founders of a rock ‘n’ roll band, who were born in Iran during a bloody war, and raised here in North America, we never look to war as an answer to anything. We sing against it and like our great musical heroes John Lennon and of course Roger Waters, we are devoted to anti war advocacy through and through.

For once, we must learn from all the mistakes our governments have made in the past and understand that this is a fight we need to stay out of and let those who very well have the means and the full understanding, to undertake and deal with. If the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran wants the respect of the world and for the global community to see the Ayatollah’s regime as a major player on the world stage then we say fine, here’s your first major task amongst your own region. Step up to the plate lads and show what you can do to end the threat of ISIL. There are Arab nations like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, there is Syria and Turkey in the region, and of course there is Iran. There is more than enough fire power, man power, and Islamic knowledge power from the region’s own governments to handle ISIL, whom without our involvement militarily, will eventually crumble, deteriorate and fall apart by the hands of fellow Islamic nations and NOT the west. Then we can get to real ways of nation changing that we unfortunately abandoned, like giving support and aid to the progressive minds of the youth of the middle east, and trust us, there are many!

Those who want to build schools to educate rather than indoctrinate. The figures who want freedom of expression over ideologue oppression. They’re the ones who will bring the region back to its feet, on a path to stability and growth. Our governments decided oil was more important than peace in the middle east. For the first time now, our generation is demanding a future that turns to clean energy and away from the bloody confines of the oil race. If we no longer turn to oil, then perhaps the resource that has brought the middle east region so much strife, can be the catalyst for peace in its absence.