Wanting To Break A Vicious Cycle

War hawks in Congress and specifically more vocally within the Republican party (and those who profit immensely from the declaration of war) can’t see pass the collateral damage that has and will continue to besiege the United States.

Many can’t see that rash military actions are a poor substitute for being tactful and prudent. When atrocities turn into probable threats against the US security interests in the Middle East, and where ISIS has become gruesomely barbaric with their planned caliphate of the Islamic state many misapprehend the deliberate leadership of President Obama over the reactionary leadership of President Bush (W).

Containing and degrading a threat to humanity is a strategic response for a just cause that would include the use of proportional military force. It should be viewed as a global threat. The real global threat is poverty, isolation and a lack of empathy. The Middle East is not sovereign nor unorganized territory for the US, nor are the other bordering regions for that matter, and so the use of diplomacy with regional partners would surmount to a greater deterrent to the movements of ISIS. Whether 200,000 American combat troops could quickly decimate ISIS should not be the deciding factor, nor is it sound judgment.

Firstly, such occupation incurs violence, of which begets more violence. Poor, desperate, and impressionable younger persons who have lost families or livelihoods would ensure that this becomes an ongoing saga of wars, especially when the consequence of such invasions leave certain and further hardships on civilians.

Secondy, the global perception of such decision making is merely seen as unilateral bullying by a super power, and most provocatively seen as threatening to BRIC nations like China, Russia, India and Brazil who would ramp up efforts to strengthen their military needlessly.

American combat troops always bring a level of collateral damage that seems to widen the already vicious cycle of terrorism in the middle east. The presence of American troops is like fodder to the unwieldily expansion of terrorism which has now become a military tactic or excuse rather for even Russia and its annexation of Crimea in the Ukraine. The US would be accountable for the actions of soldiers that dehumanize and detract from the focus of the primary mission. It has happened infamously in Iraq when pictures of US soldiers were exposed mistreating alleged prisoners of war.

Focus On The Alternatives

The more plausible way of ending cycles of violence while preventing the outbreak of new ones is to discourage the need for retribution or revenge and negotiate or compromise for more peaceful, egalitarian forms of engagement with people of different persuasions or preceptions that do not infringe on the rights of the other. I understand that this is easier said than done. But if you really believe in peace as an alternative to war you it would be wise not to project skepticism into the equation and work to cancel out the distrust on both sides.

As a rational person of color, with historical sensitivities, it is not so easily instinctive to impose American might and will by invading or positioning troops amongst innocent civilians living in the region, putting everyone within the vicinity in harms way to destroy ISIS. The civilians are people of color too, and so I am not so inclined to show indifference even under the American flag. Furthermore I will reiterate that the initiation of violence begets further violence. It should be apparent that this is not a conventional war, like the ones fought in WWI or WWII.

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