In keeping with its recent sordid history, Iraq took yet another step towards all out civil war yesterday. The Askariya Shrine, a dome covered mosque in Samarra, was attacked by as yet unknown gunmen. The mosque, which is considered one of the holiest sites by Shia muslims, has been badly damaged.

Shia clerics and much of the international media have pointed the finger at Sunni insurgents, perhaps from neighboring Iran, or Al-Qaeda, as the culprits. The only thing that is certain is that the sectarian violence engulfing the nation is becoming harder to contain.

The Americans and the British, to their folly, have come forward and offered to help rebuild the site. This, in the wake of a day of American and Israeli flags being burned on the streets of Iraq. Even the acts of their fellow muslims are now being called the fault of the Israeli’s. It almost takes one who is not well mentally to be able to follow all of the events in the Middle East or even to fathom the rationale of those who are intent on anarchy and retribution.

Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has condemned Iraqi and American forces for being unable to protect the site from attack in the first place. As one of the most vocal anti-American voices in the Middle East, I find it incredible that this man would have the audacity to blame the very people he has tried to derail and sabotage from day one. It seems that from those who are the most vocal we now get a different tune. All of a sudden, the Americans are supposed to be protecting the holy sites of those who wish evil upon them.

As for the American and British offers to assist in the rebuilding of the mosque? Don’t waste your time, money, or effort. If Iraqi’s muslims wanted the West’s help, they would ask. It seems that the West’s leaders still don’t get it. No amount of money, goodwill, or humanitarian aid will ever win a people so consumed by hatred over to your side. The extremists are our enemy; of that they have made it clear, and until a majority of the people cry out over their voices so that all we hear is a cry for peace, we should simply not entangle ourselves any further.

It seems the West has a complex, not unlike the young person who goes to school only to find that he isn’t liked by everyone. He spends years lamenting it, and ends up unwell. In time, he will simply learn that the problem is not him, but simply the fact that there will always be those who do not like you. I hope that one day our nations will simply learn to accept that fact and move on.

On a more practical level, rebuilding anything in a nation heading down the road to civil war, as Iraq appears to be hell bent on doing, is just a waste of time and money. Perhaps, if the political climate in the country stabilizes and we are treated with somewhat of a respect, then perhaps at that time we could offer our assistance.

Making these pleading offers at times like these, however, simply reinforces the opinion that the West is a groveling, pathetic civilization.

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