The Mid-East today, complete with its radical Islam, is a textbook example. Back during the first Gulf War against Saddam Hussein, President George H W Bush had a clear shot at taking out the Iraqi dictator. But George The First listened to the Saudi King (I'll just call him Ralph because I'm too lazy to look up his real name) who told him to be careful, that taking out Saddam would upset the balance of power in the volatile region. Bad as he was, we might end up with someone worse.
But we like to wear white hats, and wear white outfits, and ride white horses. We're the Good Guys, always fighting for "Truth, Justice, and The American Way". There's really nothing at all wrong with that....it's a genuinely noble idea, actually....but it often doesn't play well in the cold, cruel, REAL world.
Sure, there are no doubt sinister motives behind much of what we do, but it's always sold to the American people as "taking the high road". And because we're basically good people, we buy it.
The old USSR first stirred the fire ant pile when they invaded Afghanistan back in '79. The Afghan's, aided by other Muslims around the region and the US, showed them how to fight dirty. (We didn't give a flip about Afghanistan at the time. We just wanted to poke a sharp stick in the Rooski's eye.) That's where the shit originally hit the fan.
Saddam Hussein tortured and killed his opponents and gassed his Kurdish citizens. Bashir Assad (Syria) did the same. Libya's Muammar Qaddafi had horrendously bad taste in
OFF WITH THEIR HEADS! We indeed helped make it happen, either overtly or covertly.
But here's the problem: Despicable as those people are/were, their replacements (or lack of replacements) are worse, just as Saudi King Ralph predicted. Despotism/anarchy reigns in the Mid-East today, and it's in these conditions that al Qaeda and Islamic State flourishes. We brought this on ourselves.
Our intentions were so honest and pure....we wanted to share our wonderful way of life with the downtrodden. We want them to enjoy freedom and the good life, too. But based on the fact that they didn't RSVP to our invitation, I'm guessing they don't want it. To many of them, killing/bombing/beheading is just a way of life. "Sniper", "bomb maker", and "blade man" are probably legitimate career choices recommended by Mid-East high school guidance counselors.
Maybe we should have just left them alone? Maybe we should just sit back and watch 'em hack each other to pieces. There apparently isn't much we can do about it anyway. *Note to self....we'll need more popcorn*
Sometimes there isn't anything wrong with wearing a slightly soiled hat.