Professor Brahma Chlellaney writing in the Japan Times says,
All the academic fodder from think tanks like Harvard's Belfer Center and other says we should and can distinguish between moderates and radicals, even though they are both expert in speaking in the language the academics like to hear. We saw it in Libya, Egypt and now in Syria. Nothing like making the same mistakes over and over.
For most of the world, people are always trying to balance among competing evils in order to live their lives as they choose. We, on the other hand, believe that we have the wisdom, sensitivity, and cultural understanding to know what is better from them, namely democracy and simply throwing off the yokes of leaders we see as oppressors, since we don't have to live with the consequences.
The British writer, William Dalrymple tells of his visits to the Christianity of the pre-Byzantium Middle East in his 1996 book, "From The Holy Mountain: A Journey in the Shadow of Byzantium." Visiting the Syrian Orthodox Metropolitan Yohannas Gregorios Ibrahim in Aleppo he writes,
"Christians are better off in Syria than anywhere else in the Middle East....In Syria, there is no enmity between Christian and Muslim. If Syria were not here, we would be finished. Really. It is a place of sanctuary, a haven for all the Christians: for the Nestorians and Chaldeans driven out of Iraq, the Syrian Orthodox and the Armenians driven out of Turkey, even some Palestinian Christians driven out of the Holy Land by the Israelis. Talk to people here: you will find out later that what I say is true...
The only problem with all of this (the degree of Christian acceptance and autonomy), as far as the Christians are concerned, is the creeping realization that they are likely to expect another, perhaps far more savage, backlash when Assad dies or when his regime eventually crumbles."
Turning back to Professor Chellaney, an Indian academic with an audience in Japan he concludes.
" Make no mistake: Like al-Qaida, the Islamic State is a monster inadvertently spawned by the policies of those now in the lead to combat it. The question is whether anything substantive will be learned from this experience, unlike the forgotten lessons of America’s anti-Soviet struggle in Afghanistan. At a time when jihadist groups are gaining ground from Mali to Malaysia, Obama’s current effort to strike a Faustian bargain with the Taliban, for example, gives little hope that any lesson will be learned."