“At this point, the U.S.’s core interests in the region are not oil… Our core interests are that everybody is living in peace . . . that children are not having barrel bombs dropped on them, that massive displacements aren’t taking place.”
In his treatment of Islam, and of traditional religious faiths in general, Bill Maher seems to be oblivious to this simple fact of life: people are mostly hypocritical in nature, not puritans. They want the best out of both: the here-and-now as well as the hereafter. This makes it difficult to judge people on the basis of the holy books in which they believe, because, while they might refuse to challenge the authority of these texts, in part or as a whole, their actions and inactions come as a much better measure of what they really want.
A rare point of agreement between the critics and advocates of a deal with Iran starkly captures the nature of my own disaffection with it and with the current state of affairs in our world. The point simply put is this: the deal is being inked with Syrian, Iraqi and Yemeni blood.
I don’t know how many would-be or wannabe Einsteins and Mozarts died in Syria as a result of the war Assad unleashed, but I do know that there were surely many carpenters, grocers, farmers, bakers, tailors, soldiers, doctors and engineers, and that each and every one of them, by virtue of their humanity alone, was entitled to live in dignity. That knowledge suffices for me to want an end to this war, an end that brings with it the possibility of a dignified existence, not reward the killers.