Syria, Iraq and Libya illustrate the limitations imposed on military might by the harsh reality of seemingly endless, uncontrollable violence. Americans who think a blank check for the Pentagon and an open-ended commitment to wage war on terror will make us safer should look at those conflicts and think again.
Congress must debate and vote on whether or not to authorize the military campaign against the Islamic State that has been underway for months now.
In the near term, forsaking the rule of law in favor of violent strikes may give some false satisfaction. In the long run though, a massive violent response to a small army of extremists means more mothers, brothers, fathers, sisters and children will be killed and even more radicalized to carry on this endless war. In the end, we will pay the price for giving in to fear and hate.
This plays right into the terrorists’ hands. They want us to be controlled by fear and to resort to indiscriminate revenge. Resorting to wholesale violence brings us to their level. Such violence will produce the fear and hatred in their homelands that they need to prosper. It enables them to bring ever more violence against those they see as their enemies.
There are alternatives.
The President and Congress should:
1. Stop the bombing and military escalation. We’ve seen before how unintended consequences can spiral out of control, causing more pain and suffering in the region and hurting U.S. security.
2. Hit ISIS where it hurts: the wallet! Take steps to cut the cash flowing to ISIS. Crack down on Turkish, Iraqi, and other oil dealers who are purchasing ISIS’s oil on the black market, which would cut ISIS off from its most important revenue stream.
3. Build a coalition for a political solution, not military action! Support a United Nations-led effort to convene Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Iran, European Union and Russia to develop strong diplomatic, economic and political initiatives to restrict the flow of arms, militias and finances across borders. Support restarting UN-sponsored negotiations to end the Syrian civil war.
Contact your Senators and Representative and tell them to stop the military escalation, hit ISIS in the wallet, cut their cash flow, restrict the flow of arms and build support for a political solution.
Call: U.S. Capitol Switchboard - 202.224.3121
Email your Senators at www.senate.gov
Email your Represenative at www.house.gov
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