Shortly after 911, the monster Osama bin Laden said that one reason he struck here was to embroil the United States and the West in endless conflict with the Islamic world that in time would sap our strength.

Look at the Mideast mess we’re already in, even before we intrude further in Iran or Syria. Are we fulfilling his prophecy?

Some experts say that, given the despotism of sheiks, centuries-old tribal hatreds, extremists’ misreading of the Koran, xenophobia and mistreatment of women, the Islamic world needs to have a civil war of its own and accept modernity, and that we should step away and let them have a go at it.

With our greater energy independence, we now can afford to do just that. We have much less of a vital interest in the region.

Doc Ardrey

Oyster Bay Drive