Problems in the Middle East

We have reached the point as a society where the War on Terror is becoming a witch hunt. We’re starting to blame al -Qaida for every issue we can.

I am not justifying al-Qaida’s actions; I am saying we are seeing terrorists behind every protest.

Most recently, more than 20 people in Afghanistan have died in a riot that has almost nothing to do with the war.

Yet, most of the people in this country don’t know why.

Certain members of the international media admit to an unofficial blackout.

The real reason was Terry Jones, a Gainesville, Fla. minister who burned the Quran as promised last August.

They say it was an effort to preempt a violent response in Arab nations.

I absolutely think that the media should be concerned with international safety and stability, but how reasonable is it in this modern age to try to completely prevent the spread of a story—a story that just a few months ago won Jones television interviews across the country and a chat with top generals?

Regardless of media blackouts, the story spread. Rioters burned American flags and effigies. They threw rocks at police and soldiers. Buildings were burned and a group of rioters stormed a United Nations building.

Reporters on the ground said that al-Qaida was likely behind it all.

I don’t know that they’re wrong, but I do know that, it doesn’t matter.

Whether or not Osama bin Laden and his followers orchestrated or incited the riots, these acts were carried out by angry Afghani citizens—not suicide bombers or insurgency fighters.

People were burning American flags before al-Qaida was formed and no matter how pure our intentions, if we continue to involve ourselves in other nations, flags will continue to burn.

There are always going to be protests. Some of them will be violent and that is awful. None of us, hopefully, want people to die.

However, as a society, we need to recognize that not every death in the Middle East is the result of terrorist actions—at least not the suicide bomber kind.

Sometimes, an American gives us a very poor reputation. And sometimes, people pay for that with their lives.

I am not calling for censorship. I am asking that we wake up and realize that al-Qaida cannot be our excuse for everything that goes on in the Middle East.

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