So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Time to be unpopular
War drums are beating. Revenge is in order for the events in Paris.
I am not a pacifist. On a personal level I'm well armed and prepared to defend me and mine. However I've a very bad feeling on where things are heading.
Anyone remember how well our response to 911 worked out? Two wars? Hundreds of thousands of lives lost? American liberties curtailed? It begs the question: who's going to benefit from a wider war?
Eighty percent of all conflicts end with a negotiated settlement. Only 20% are decided by total military victory. Why then is the negotiated path in such disfavor? I suspect total military victory is more satisfying somehow. It's the old eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth. However, relying on outdated religious texts for guidance isn't the best solution for people of any religion.
There's room for negotiation in significant areas of the Syrian conflict. Of course, the Islamic State with their whole idea of a Caliphate is something else entirely. Dealing with them will take some of the same techniques that are used to deal with a fanatical cult. Force will be part of it but force alone won't do the job. Another part will be busting the myths that motivate their fanatical followers. Their fighters believe they are part of something special ordained by god. That is both a strength and a weakness.
It's a strength but only while events on the ground follow their myths. Sow doubt in the minds of the warriors and the so called Caliphate could fall apart quickly. It's far from an impossible task. They are operating from a 7th century handbook for goodness sake. We should have learned a few new tricks since then.
Break up the Islamic State, establish peace on the ground, and the refugees flooding Europe can all go home. That should be enough motivation right there.
Of course, many people want to just nuke the heck out of them. Yeah, that would work, but what kind of people would that make us? Too stupid to find a solution without killing everyone and turning whole countries into nuclear wastelands?
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.