Must we support Islamic, unfree, anti-Christian regimes?
While I’m criticizing neoconservative American Jews for promoting policies that endanger Israel and American Jews and all the rest of us, let’s not forget what’s happened to Christians in the lands this majority-Christian country of ours has liberated. Life in Iraq has become unsafe for Christians, many of whom have fled to Syria which is more welcoming to them. A man had to flee Afghanistan for his life because he had converted to Christianity. And now 1,200 Koreans who came to Afghanistan as aid workers are being kicked out of the country for apparently engaging in Christian activities and maybe spreading the Gospel. How can we justify expending our treasure and our men’s lives in propping up a regime that excludes Christianity and kills people who convert to Christianity?
In the Cold War, it made complete sense to ally ourselves with non-Communist dictators against Communism. Dictatorship as such, which was merely a local thing, was not the threat, but Communism, which sought world domination. Jeanne Kirkpatrick’s distinction between authoritarianism and totalitarian was valid. Applying Kirkpatrick’s logic to the Islam problem, it would make sense to empower Islamic-law regimes if there were a real difference between the regimes we are empowering and our jihadist adversaries, just as there was a real difference between the authoritarian regimes we propped up in the Cold War and our Communist adversaries. But such a distinction would appear to be non-existent in the Islamic case. If a regime is Islamic, then by definition it supports sharia and jihad and the destruction of all freedoms including the freedom to choose one’s religion without losing one’s life. It will also likely support our terrorist enemies, as the Iraq government and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis support Hezbollah. What then should we have done about Afghanistan? True, we had no choice but to invade and destroy the Taliban regime. But what then? Must we stay there forever, propping up an Islamic regime that stands for the opposite of everything we believe in, and that is not different in its fundamental Islamic allegiances and principles from the Taliban that seeks to overthrow it?
My best answer is this: While we obviously cannot allow the fanatical and evil Taliban to take over Afghanistan again, it would be far cheaper and easier to conduct a three-week invasion of Afghanistan once every few years to topple a dangerous regime that has come to power than it would be to occupy that country permanently in order to keep such a regime from coming to power.