None of us want another 9/11. Nobody.
Yet if the military response to the war on terror is failing to defeat the actual causes of Islamic jihad that could be better addressed by humanitarian-aid workers, Muslim scholars and the intelligence community, why do we continue to rely primarily on the military as our sole method of combating Islamic jihadists?
Are things being done to deliberately prolong the military-engagement part of this war?
Are our elected leaders deliberately prolonging the war because by doing so, they can have a sort of insurance policy in the event another 9/11 type attack happens on their watch, enabling them to say, "Well, we were surely doing everything we could have been doing to prevent this." I think the answer is yes.
What about the defense industry and the military-industrial complex? Are they deliberately prolonging the war by making certain the necessary people in Washington D.C. keep signing reauthorization bill after reauthorization bill to keep the planes flying and bombs dropping so the arms industry can continue making record profits? I believe they are.
And how about the American people? What about you and me? Is our fear of another 9/11 type attack happening making it impossible for us to demand our troops be brought home and we end the military response to the "war on terror? - In other words, are we, the American people, in a sense deliberately prolonging the war because by doing so we enjoy an albeit false sense of security that we are actually safer here in America because we have tens of thousands of combat troops in battles overseas?
Have we become such a selfish, narcissistic society with a sense of entitlement that runs so deep we will recklessly trade the lives of our fellow Americans so that we can sleep a bit more comfortably at night? I believe, to a certain extent, the answer is yes. If it wasn't, surely there would be tens of thousands of Americans on the streets marching, protesting against our continued military involvement in these never-ending overseas wars, demanding we bring our troops home.
Or is the reason we continue to keep troops deployed, fighting, killing and dying in countries our military has no reason being in all across the planet because it seems unconscionable to us that we would go into these countries, one after another, watch them be torn apart and turned into literal hells on earth, and then just pull out and leave them to fend for themselves? Is it a guilt-complex that is paralyzing us?
As someone who has personally seen and experienced the horrific effects of the "war on terror" throughout the Middle East, it does to me. It seems absolutely unconscionable that we would do that. And so when I say that very thing, a complete and total withdrawal of our combat troops is precisely what I believe we should do, I do not say so lightly . I say so with an overwhelmingly conflicted and hurting heart and soul.
Since first sending combat troops into war in Afghanistan in October 2001 we have expanded the "war on terror" from one to 76 countries around the globe. We have tasked our military with fighting an enemy -- a socio-economic and religious enemy -- they should never have been assigned to fight. The ongoing military response to the "war on terror" is asinine and has proven to be horrendously disastrous. There is absolutely no sane way of defending the practice of incessantly embracing a really, really bad idea. But that is exactly what we continue to do by relying primarily on our military to fight against and defeat Islamic jihadists. This "war" for them must end. It is time to begin a complete and total withdraw of our combat troops from the battlefields of the Middle East. It is time for the Middle East to begin rebuilding itself. It is time for us to step back and allow that to happen.
May there one day soon be peace on earth. Amen.
(This is Part 4 in a four-part series.)