Friday, November 20, 2015

Congratulations. The War on Terror is over.

I was never a fan of the war on terror.  Truthfully, I am not a fan of war in general.  I try to advocate for peace, yeah, it seems foolish, given there are times to fight.  But where are we now?  What has this last round in the middle east gotten us?
I keep thinking back to this show I watched when I was younger, an anime show.  You might remember some of the Gundam shows that aired on Toonami back in the late 1990s and early 2000s.  The crux of the show is war.  I would say it was ironic, but the shows follow a similar pattern, young adults (sometimes characters that are just teenagers) are tasked to fight a war, as they progress and develop, they come to resent fighting.  You have some people who revel in the fighting, you have the true believers, you have those fighting to protect something, everyone has their reasons I guess.

I can say that if you have ever watched one show tagged as Gundam, you have basically seen all of them.  Its a formula, different characters, different weapons, different bad guys, but always it appears the same moral.  The great philosophical question about war:
"Unlike in sports, the game of war has no set time limit and no points are awarded, so how do you determine the winners and the losers? When all your enemies are destroyed? Perhaps then." Cdr. Andrew Waltfeld Gundam Seed
When I was younger that comment, spoken in a conversation between two enemies got me thinking.  How do we really determine who has won or lost a war?  Sure, in a traditional sense the country who lost surrenders, but at the same time, did the country that did not surrender actually win?  Look at Iraq.  We technically won the war, we removed Hussein, we brought the country democracy.  But, we also lost the war, and instigated the rise of Al Qaeda and ISIL.

We fought a war against radial Islam, against terrorists.  But along the way, we have managed to not stop the spread of terrorists, we have merely created more of them.  Everyday, we create more and more radicalized people in this world, and its not just the United States, its every country in the world helping create these people.  Yes, for every terrorist we kill, we create more, with every innocent person we kill, we put their friends and families on the path to becoming that which we want to stop.

But it is much worse than that.  It is a war that we have already lost, but for whatever reason we cannot see it.  You see, we have people in fear, and that is what the terrorists want.  They want us to be afraid.  When we are fearful we compromise on our freedom (see the Patriot Act, Domestic Surveillance, etc.), we compromise on our morals (see people calling to not allow refuges into our nation).  When we compromise on either of those fronts, we loose.

You see, over the last fifteen years, terrorists have managed to win the war.  And how did they accomplish this feat?  It was simple enough, crop up and attack a random soft target, then wait until a response was given.  Those responses were often drone strikes and bombs, which created collateral damage, allowing for them to come in and twist more people to their cause.
"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." Albert Einstien
I wish I could say it was as simple as bombing the terrorists out of existence, or that ignoring them would work the same.  But what is clear to me is this.  We cannot allow people like Trump, Carson, or others to say we will not allow people trying to flee terrorists to find safe haven in our land.  We cannot allow those people to sway us into treating those who have been victimized already like they are the enemy, or forcing them to wear markers (like they are animals).  We have seen that before, when the Jewish people were turned away from America the outcome was beyond tragic (over 6.5 million people exterminated), but making it more complicated by forcing them to wear a marker (think a Juden patch in nazi Germany).  Some have gone as far as to say they should be interned in camps like the Japanese sans WWII, and the "undesirables" in Germany during that period.  Bush and Cruz for there part are all for helping them, but only if they are the right religion (that is awfully white of them). 

The refuges are only trying to flee, to get away from the insanity, to protect their loved ones.  That will merely compound the problems we already face.  I am honestly ashamed that some 53% of the citizens of this country (most of us who are related to someone who immigrated to the US) have decided that we no longer want to give the chance to others.  To those who read this and feel that we should be concerned about the terrorists, congratulations, you are the very ones that allowed them to not only help further corrupt our already contemptible government. I am sure that somewhere, someone has an idea of how to stop the bloodshed, but if they have it, they should speak sooner rather than later.