Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—January 4, 2016
By: George Ochsenfeld
Fighting violence with violence is not only morally immature, it creates more problems than it solves. Making ‘martyrs’ out of ISIS fighters, while killing thousands of non-ISIS civilians as ‘collateral damage’, merely increases recruitment to extremist groups by feeding the flames of hatred.
The West is reaping the fruits of colonialism, invasion, occupation, the plundering of petroleum resources, the establishment of despised puppet regimes, the mass marketing of military hardware, and neoliberal economic policies resulting in grinding poverty. This means that we have systematically humiliated people in cultures that put great value upon honor. The US led invasion of Iraqi in 2003 put a match to a volatile situation by destabilizing the region.
The West and Russia should cease all military operations in the Middle East. The people and governments of the region should be allowed to resolve their own conflicts, however difficult that process may be. Foreign military interventions, motivated by self-serving ‘strategic interests’, have consistently made things worse. We should support diplomacy, humanitarian and peacekeeping efforts, truth and reconciliation commissions (as practiced in South Africa), sustainable economic development, and pay reparations for damage we have done.
In the meantime, we must weather the inevitable blowback–terrorist attacks in this country–without succumbing to the temptation to shred the Bill of Rights, lash out at immigrants, or bomb populations we define as enemies into the stone age. As naive and weak as it may sound, we should respond to hatred with love. In the long run, nothing else works.