I am completely dumbfounded by all the head-scratching and finger-pointing going on as Iraq erupts into civil war. What is being broadcast into our homes is simply the logical culmination of a certain nation announcing that 1) wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony were no longer vices, but were instead virtues and 2) attempting to spread that ideology worldwide.
The old conservative belief in limits was cast aside over 30 years ago, and the philosophy espoused by Timothy Leary and his ilk that "Anything goes" or "If it feels good, do it" became the moral underpinning for economic decision-making. "More is always better" became our motto. The conservative concept of caution was labeled regulation and thus, discarded.
But we couldn't be content to be simply a narcissistic nation bent on self-annihilation; we exported our insatiable desires by masking our moral decay and cowardice behind military might. Under the guise of "spreading democracy" we rushed around trying to create nations in our image. We never stopped to ask, "Do we really want other nations out there just like us: greedy, fat, lazy, angry and envious?"
Folks, greed is never good. Will we turn virtues back into vices again?