Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Absurdity of the War on Terrorism

Often when we disagree with someone or a group of people, we assume a stance of hostility, blame and we choose violence; perpetuating never ending cycles of vengeance and trauma. For example: Your country has different beliefs than mine and I decide that some of your people are heinous criminals that I need to destroy. You may or may not agree. I bomb your country to kill the infidels. Problem: my bomb does not just kill the infidel, it creates an area of destruction. I kill many people, some of whom never thought or did anything harmful or contrary to my beliefs-they may not have supported the infidel either! Their family members suffer the trauma of their death as well as the wounds they may survive with in a world that has been shattered by a bomb. They have little to live for, except revenge against the callous apathy that eradicated their loved ones with the push of a button. Each bomb dropped is another wave of death, destruction, and mangled lives. Each bomb creates emotional, psychological and physical trauma of immense proportions. When survivors suddenly side against me, I feel I'd better go kill those infidels too. Infidels just keep popping out of the wood work, and it reinforces my shallow view that 'all those people over there are evil and twisted' when ironically it was my choices, my attacks that shaped their perception of the world. In actuality, I am the one who committed the crime.

I bring this point up in contrast to the humanitarian programs. If you really want to stop terrorism you do not fight it, bomb it or threaten it. You choose to make amends and start the healing process. You make reparations, you offer empathy and foster an environment where everyone has food, shelter, clothing, and safety. You do not move armies in or drop missiles. Give people a  reason to choose to turn away from retaliation, give people a reason to stop supporting violence on either side. There should be one side-humanity.

We get so wound up with how right we are, we pick and hold our arguments close to our hearts. Is there any wonder why the 'enemy' does the same? What would your life be like, how would you choose to live if suddenly a missile struck your town, killing your loved ones and friends and destroying your economy? You'd what? Go get weapons and make them pay? Right, that is exactly what they are doing, isn't it amazing how much alike both 'sides' think?

Labeling groups of people and judging everyone who could possibly be involved or supportive of the group is not a sign of enlightenment or compassion. It is absurd. Do you like it when someone labels you and treats you with bias because of your appearance or beliefs? No. I have yet to meet anyone who gets tickled pink by the idea of being called a bigot or referred to with slurs.

If you want to end terrorism you have to look at ways to bring positive changes and stability into the countries that are torn by poverty and war. You have to give people something to live for. Regardless of how bad things get in the United States people do not race around committing acts of terrorism every day. Why? Because they are comfortable, they do not want to lose what they have, and they have the freedom to waste time playing video games and eating junk food. Give people what they need. Give them respect and tolerance. Foster growth. Open communications in a constructive manner.

Stop trying to be the final judge, jury, and executioner for the villains; start giving people a reason to start being human again instead of faceless enemies. I'm getting tired of the absurd arguments for perpetual wars, especially when I see people in our own country struggling to get by on low wages, when corporations take high paying jobs overseas to increase profit margins, and legislation is passed for the good of the profit rather than the good of the people. Let's get our priorities straight. Let's become a respectable country known for wisdom and compassion rather than weapons sales and mass destruction. Let's stop creating terrorists and committing acts of terrorism-before you say we don't do that, think about the recent findings about the CIA. The CIA allegedly works on your behalf. I am not proud of the techniques they used and I do not feel there is ever a justifiable reason to torture anyone. Ever.

A New Year approaches. We can choose to change our country, our stance, our view. Why not choose a healthier one and become a leader in changing the world in a positive way? Remember peace, when does it get a chance? When does the name calling and retribution stop? How much has to be destroyed before we admit that we are going about this backward?