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Posted: November 21, 2015

Kill, kill, kill never works

Gerry WarnerPerceptions by Gerry Warner

So what is the proper response to the ISIS savagery in Paris last week?

Should Western countries, in the words of French President Francois Hollande, wage “pitiless war” on the Jihadi terrorists? An understandable response in terms of the immense tragedy. But isn’t France and the NATO coalition already at war with ISIS ever since the brutal militants burst on the scene two years ago and quickly conquered a large swath of Syria and Iraq?

And what has that accomplished? Apparently very little judging by the impunity that deadly evening with which the fanatical terrorists slaughtered 129 innocents in the ‘City of Light.’

So don’t you think it’s time to consider a new strategy to deal with what US President Barack Obama called “an attack on all of humanity.”

Remember President Bush’s response to 9/11? “Those who aren’t with us are against us” and promptly declared war on Iraq, which had nothing to do with the horrific attack, which was master-minded by Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, the terrorist organization that spawned ISIS more than a decade later. However, Bush blundered on to wage war in Afghanistan where American troops are fighting to this day. Can anyone say the world is any safer for this endless warfare?

Of course not. If anything we’re less secure thanks to the failed strategy of Western leaders who naively think they can bomb terrorist groups like ISIS and al Qaeda into submission while killing thousands of innocent Muslim civilians which only causes them to become radicalized and throw in their lot with the terrorists. That’s exactly what ISIS wants – a world-wide religious war between Islam and Christianity – and we’re being duped by their strategy. Don’t you think it’s time we stopped playing their game?

What’s happening now is not “war” in the traditional sense of tanks and troops at the front lines and nation states trying to conquer each other. ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, is a religious Muslim caliphate, actually a theocracy, that has seized a large cross-border section of Iraq and Syria and is trying to establish a Sunni caliphate there as part of the struggle between Sunni and Shia Muslims that has been raging for more than a thousand years. And whoever wins this struggle wants to go on to conquer the infidels and rule the world and all we’re doing is fanning the flames of this fanatical and ridiculous fantasy.

Why are we doing it?

Could it be because we’ve never really understood the Islamic world and didn’t care in our eagerness to exploit the region for its oil and as a buffer between us and Asian powers like Russia and China?

After the First World War, France and England dominated that part of the world and ruthlessly carved it up to suit their imperial ambitions completely ignoring the traditional boundaries and ethno-religious groupings that had existed for thousands of years. Such arrogance breeds hatred and now it’s payback time and the jihadists are making their old Imperial masters pay grievously, killing hundreds of innocent people in the process. So, as was asked at the beginning, what should our response be to the latest atrocity in France?

The answer may be difficult, but it’s not rocket science.

We must swallow our pride and arrogant belief that we always know what’s best for the Middle East and cease our military interference in that deeply, troubled part of the world. We should pull our troops out and bring home our planes, drones and missiles and let them fight it out themselves. They’ll resolve it. Religious fanatics always do – eventually – and they won’t be killing us in the process. If any of them are stupid enough to attack us on our own territory, we’ll deal with them with deadly force as we’re entitled to do. In other words, we’ve got to start waging peace instead of war.

War doesn’t work.

Gerry Warner is a retired journalist.

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