I recently had what you can call an "Ahaaa!" moment. I noticed that every Western army invading the Middle East or Central Asia since the British took down the Ottomans has left the region in a greater mess than when it invaded.

President Johnson was right about letting Asian boys fight their own civil wars. We shouldn't be involved in civil wars in Asia. The place is naturally run by strong men. If you knock down one strong man, he's likely to be replaced by another, perhaps more reprehensible than the first. We should be there by invitation only, not with our bombs. When you start bombing people, innocents get hurt. men and women who didn't care become widowers and widows willing to strap bombs on themselves and walk into crowds. We don't need to invade to get their oil. People are greedy everywhere. We can buy what we want, friendship and oil included.

Case in point: We knocked down the Taliban because we didn't like Al-Qaeda. We engaged in a protracted war in Afghanistan and only make Al-Qaeda stronger. going after Al-Qaeda helped create ISIS. The Taliban were bad, Al-Qaeda is worse. Now, ISIS is even more so. The more you bomb people, the more radicalized they're going to get. We shouldn't be taking sides in Asian civil wars, bombing the side we conclude via some Machiavellian calculus is the side least damaging to our special interests.

ISIS is Arabs fighting Arabs. They need to be allowed to sort things out, though history shows that the result is often a blood bath. The French had their revolution to get rid of an obnoxiously autocratic and frivolous regime. What ensued was called the Reign of Terror. We fought the Civil War, often labeled as the first modern war because of the efficiency both sides achieved in slaughtering the other. Now the Arab World is trying to be re-born into the modern world. Western armies have done enough damage, mostly in self-interest cloaked by idealism. We need to leave them alone, at least militarily.

Post Paris bombing update, 11/18/2015: I initially wrote that ISIS is Arabs fighting Arabs. That has changed. My point remains: the more you bomb people, the more radicalized they will get. It is also disingenuous to think that if the West bombs its perceived enemies, they will not hate us and think of ways to strike back. Don't get me wrong, these folks are really bad people. But so were Idi Amin and Pol Pot. We can't/shouldn't try to police and cleanse the world.

Post Trump election update, 6/17/2017: Trump campaigned with a promise that he had a secret plan for defeating ISIL. When challenged, he replied that he would not disclose it because doing so would inform the enemy. Of course, the credulous and racist believed him. There was no plan, just an empty promise among many. Instead, we are witnessing a slow build up of our troops in Syria and Afghanistan. We are now bombing and shelling Raqqa, Syria, which is resulting in what the U.N. calls a "staggering loss of civilian life". Now that the U.S. has abandoned the moral principles of the Obama administration, Trump is waging a war that looks much like Putin's war there: two thuggish brutes committing crimes against humanity in order to gain political points at home. Asia Minor and Arabia are the mess that they are because they have been the battle ground for proxy and direct wars between imperial powers since Russia and Great Britain vied for power in Afghanistan. Killing civilians will only increase the hate and perpetuate the wars. It is demonstrably self-defeating. As long as western states prop up dictatorships and failed governments and as long as Israel occupies Palestinian lands beyond its borders, the whole region will continue its slide into deeper hell.