President Obama recently proclaimed that if we put troops on the ground to fight ISIS, they will use “our presence to draw new recruits.” Only with Obama’s current strategy of bombing, advising and allying will we have “sustainable victory.”
There is a giant irrationality at the heart of the president’s logic. It’s mainly U.S. violence that helps ISIS “draw new recruits,” and not just our presence. Does Obama really think that Middle Easterners distinguish much between dying from an American bomb from the air and an American bullet from the ground?
Both Republican and Democratic presidential candidates agree with Obama or want to inject even more violence. Many Republicans contend that ISIS is “Islamic extremism” and that it is a “clash of civilizations.” I think there’s good reason for many Middle Easterners to believe in this clash, given the number of bombs and invasions the US has inflicted on them.
Democrats are trying to finesse the violence while rightly defending American religious and immigrant freedoms. But they seem blind to the effect of dropping of tens of thousands of bombs. The effect is that many Muslims have had friends or family killed by Americans bombs and thus good reason to hate us.
We may be headed for an almost endless war against a good portion of the up-to 1.6 billion Muslims, almost a quarter of the world’s population. This could be World War III.
I believe that total U.S. military withdrawal from the Middle East is the only hope for peace. Haven’t we tried violence long enough?
The only presidential candidate who agrees with me is the little-known Jill Stein of the Green Party who proclaims: “These reckless and destructive wars have done nothing but create tremendous blowback against the U.S. around the world. It’s time to discard the failed foreign policy of endless war and break the cycle of violence through diplomacy, international law and human rights.” Hear, hear!
— Bill Branyon