I am trying to get to the point in thought where we could flip the off switch on the vacuum of war. I am trying to get down to the base philosophy, and what that ideal paradigm is.
Is it: “You’re brutally killing people, so we’re going to kill you for killing those people”?
Or should it be: “We live in an evolved, enlightened state — with viable self-defence for territory — to attract immigrants and make this area of the world undeniably appealing.”
What is happening is: instead of having admiration for how good it is over here (North America), there is hatred for the “American way” from families dealing with casualties, or “collateral damage”, from drone attacks and, from an American perspective, a distrust and hatred for immigrants that look like the “terrorists”. From an effort to free these people and attempting to install a functional “democracy”, it morphs into an all-out shitstorm on a long enough timeline, because mistakes that cost innocent lives are seemingly inevitable in this case.
A big issue of contention in the larger war conversation is religion, namely Islam. Muslims, like people of other religious denominations, are ostensibly using the religion as a tool. If anything, the strength of the people who are “terrorists” in this case, or people who retaliate to attacks and continue to do so repeatedly, speaks to the strength of the religion or ideology. Whatever existential circumstance Middle Eastern Muslims — or Bible Belt Christians — are experiencing, that will be the filter through which their strongly-held beliefs will be expressed. For example, Mos Def aka Yasiin Bey, does not see Islam as a catalyst of violence because he follows its teachings and perceives them through a relatively critical filter, and he is a non-violent, successful, world renowned musician. He uses the strength of the messages of Islam to strengthen his life. Had Yasiin been born and raised in Iraq or Afghanistan, things would no doubt have been vastly different. Free speech and freedom of religion ostensibly prevents a society from throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Religion can be an agent that augments and strengthens the resolve of a population in a certain situation, but given this micro comparison, it does not appear to be the root cause of extremist behaviour.
This is not to say religion is not a factor, but there is undoubtedly more at play. Socioeconomic quality is another aspect that can be examined. And when we look at we look at who is spearheading the movement of ISIS for example, we see people who exist in the relative middle-class or even upper-class of that society that are pushing forth the violent ideology that is essentially indoctrinating the lower class.
The convoluted state of affairs in the Middle East makes it so that the west’s objectively ideal option is “Out Now”. Instead, in Canada, we have the governing party wanting to hop on this military bandwagon by supporting American conquests. For the American military, this situation now appears to be what happens when you repeatedly poke a hornet’s nest, and apparently it is even worse when you don’t know, or care, that hornets sting.