Friend or foe?

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ISIS, the latest threat to come out of the Middle East, has captured the minds of our politicians and the fleeting attention of our news and media. They are a threat. So we did what we always do. We sent in air strikes in the blind hope that in doing so we will find allies and they will like it. However, it’s causing a backlash. The enemy of our enemies are also the enemy of our friends, who may also be our enemies. And now our friends and enemies are rallying to the banner, though it’s not bat all clear who “they” are and to which banner they are rallying. Now that airstrikes have begun America has put a new face on the conflict. Instead of being distant masters of the globe Syrians have close personal experience with the core values of Americans. Oh wait, you think mindless destructive chaos is not our core value? Fair enough, but how would you presume to explain this to the people cowering in the places we destroy. This is what they have learned from the presumptive greatest nation on earth. Violence and destruction.

So the plan to make friends, arm and train them, and then turn them lose on our enemies not alienate everyone. But it didn’t work did it? Of course it didn’t. You didn’t have a plan. You committed, and even now are committing, horrible acts of violence and you thought what? People would thank you for this? Because it’s easy to tell friend from foe? because alliances are black and white? Because you only kill the “bad guys”? because our motives are clear and comprehensible? Because hundreds of groups don’t have thousands of agendas that may or may not align with ours? Then you have the gaul to ask, “how did no one see this coming?” Everyone saw this coming but you were scared so you waved a magical air strike at the problem and hoped it would go away. Well it didn’t go away and now politicians want to send in ground troops. Why? What are the ground troops going to do that the air strikes can’t? Because nothing brings a community together like a foreign occupation. Oh right. We’re “liberators”. We’ll just explain that to them when we kill their sons and daughters, when we burst through the doors to look for weapons, when neighborhoods get burned to the ground for harboring “terrorists”. Because that what “liberty” will look like to them.

And then what? We’ll stick around long enough to help them form a government. It’ll be a glorious thing, this government. It’ll last throughout the ages, or at least until the first major disagreement breaks out and then it’s bring back the airstrikes.

We’ve got to learn to do better. What we’re doing now isn’t working.


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