Now, does that mean that I don't believe Islamic jihadists are dangerous? No, I think they're dangerous, just like the communists in Vietnam were dangerous. Are they 'greatest threat to American security on the globe, engage the entire US war machine' dangerous? No way. They are a localized threat to a distant region. (At least that's all they would be if we left it alone!)
In Vietnam, we were told by the American military propaganda machine that a failure to engage the communists would have a 'domino effect' - that communism would spread throughout the globe and that freedom everywhere would disappear. Of course the only way to fight such an evil was with a limited, protracted military engagement that could never realistically be won but was guaranteed to keep the money flowing into corporate coffers. (Sound familiar?) And what good did it do? Not a dang bit. Saigon fell, we got the heck out, the communists took over and now we have trade and travel between our nations.
Yep, that's right, the domino effect was a lie. After Saigon fell and the communists took over, their attempts to imprison the entire nation failed and eventually borders were opened and trade with Western nations was allowed. And, just like the domino effect, the Islamic jihadist scare is also a lie. You see, every totalitarian regime will eventually collapse under its own weight. This is because it is impossible to enslave an entire population. The average Vietnamese citizen was not a die-hard communist, just like the average Muslim is not a fanatical jihadist. These are just people. People with families, businesses, hopes and dreams. In other words, they're just like us. And if we, as a people, would rise up, dismantle the Military Industrial Complex, stop the senseless military engagements, bring the troops home and try something like, oh I don't know, free trade, we might just find that the average middle easterner would throw off the shackles the jihadists are trying to impose on them, and that political ideology would collapse under its own weight as well.