And yet, today, the United States provides military knowhow, equipment, and support to Shi’a militias attacking the Sunnis of the Islamic State. The United States is helping the Shi’a attack the Islamic State, and at the same time, the Shi’a are attacking the Sunnis in Aleppo.  The United States is supporting Sunnis in Aleppo indirectly by supporting the Kurds. So the United States is now arming the Shi’a in ways that are then used by the Shi’a to attack American associates. In other words, America is arming its enemies to fight its friends, and also trying to find friends to attack its enemies. This essential inability to tell friends from enemies is a result of the false categories that we have created to define friends and enemies.

At its heart, this is a phenomenon of countries that are engaged in peripheral conflicts, not organic to their own interests, which take place at great geographic distance in a fundamentally frivolous attitude. When you hear somebody like Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, or Samantha Power talking about Libya, for instance, they are essentially provincial minds speculating about a country far away, of which they know little.

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