“Inconceivable” bombing at Saudi mosque

Imagine a Protestant suicide bomber hitting the Vatican. That’s the parallel of what happened in Saudi Arabia a few days ago. I discussed this a few minutes ago with host P.J. Maloney on KQV Radio in Pittsburgh.

The target was the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina. It marks the place where the Prophet Mohammad was buried. Four security guards were killed. It’s just the latest illustration of how cruel the hatred between the warring branches of Islam has become.

It became clear to me as early as 2006, at the height of the US-led war in Iraq, that the West was in over its heads there. The trigger was the bombing of the al-Askari Mosque in Iraq. The mosque was the Shiite equivalent of the Vatican. Its tall minarets were felled in that bombing, and a year later, another bombing destroyed the rest of the mosque.

I concluded then, and it’s just been reinforced, that there is no way the West can stop this conflict. The solution must come from within the people, when they’ve had enough of this hatred, when they decide that life is more important. That could take years or generations.

In the meantime, the West can try to rebuild its influence slowly and positively by aiding the people, starting with the refugees. It’s counter-intuitive to a world power to admit there’s nothing to be done in the short term–but it’s a whole new world out there, and we need to accept that and deal with it.

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