Friday, July 31, 2015

"The way to respond to ISIS is not through violence."

And to help clear up the conflict . . . .
(US air strikes help . . . HOW?)
See "14 maps that explain ISIS" on VOX.
I've predicted that ISIS is one of two topics that presidential candidates are going to have to address in the 2016 election cycle. (The other is BlackLivesMatter.)

(See What Will Dominate Election 2016? (ANSWER: ISIS and #BlackLivesMatter) )

Since I wrote that, I've been researching and thinking about the intricacies of the places that, in the 20th century, had names like Iraq and Syria (and Jordan and Lebanon and Israel and Turkey and . . . ).

It's fascinating to become absorbed in the complexity.

But today it occurred to me that the solution is probably simple.  So simple, in fact, that we can't see it even though it is staring us in the face.

"I'll bet . . . . " said I to myself, "I'll bet you can find a hundred articles on alternative ways to deal with ISIS -- ways that don't involve military attacks or other violence -- if you just go and Google it."

Is it possible that the starting point is to say,

"The way to respond to ISIS is not through violence."


Anyone who has had to write a speech knows that the hardest part is to land on the main idea. Once you've got that right, the rest practically writes itself.

So this will be an ongoing post -- we've got a lot of election 2016 left to go -- dedicated to the proposition that, "The way to respond to ISIS is not through violence." I'll fill in the details periodically.

With the help of Google.

Starting today.

July 31, 2015

See "ISIS: Nonviolent Resistance?" by Eli S. McCarthy in the Huffington Post, March 9, 2015.

November 1, 2015

Unsurprisingly, Jimmy Carter put it better than I ever could: "A Five-Nation Plan to End the Syrian Crisis" "Iran outlined a general four-point sequence several months ago, consisting of a cease-fire, formation of a unity government, constitutional reforms and elections. Working through the United Nations Security Council and utilizing a five-nation proposal, some mechanism could be found to implement these goals. . . . The involvement of Russia and Iran is essential. . . ." (emphasis added)

November 14, 2015

It looks like foreign affairs are about to take center state in Election 2016.

(See Election2016 after Paris: It's time for someone to show leadership)

November 28, 2015

Social media is full of images from the UK's demonstrations yesterday: #DontBombSyria!

@Muqadaam on Twitter:
People of Great Britain have spoken today in their thousands to say #DontBombSyria

February 29, 2016

"In three reports released earlier this month, London-based NGO Saferworld concluded that U.S., UK, and EU counterterror, stabilization, and state-building efforts since 2001 in Afghanistan, Somalia, and Yemen have been counterproductive. In each country, direct force has sometimes pushed back militants, but it has failed to defeat them and secure peace. Violence—especially when indiscriminate and unaccountable—has also harmed civilians, creating greater resentment towards the United States and western governments. . . . The reports found that a better approach would focus strategically on peace, rely less on the military, take a tougher line on bad governance, and work more closely with civil society." (See "You Can’t Bomb Your Way to Peace" on the Open Society Foundations website.)

Related posts

A virus is able to be so successful precisely because it (most of the time) doesn't kill its host. I can't help thinking that we simply are not being intelligent about how to respond to violence.   How might recognizing the "viral" nature of violence help us to respond to it more intelligently?

(See Violence: Taking Over Like a Virus)

It will be the 2016 presidential election that will provide the main form of entertainment and distraction to the U.S. populace between now an the end of next year. An enormous amount of political fluff will fill our lives -- pushing aside, I suppose, vast amounts of sports fluff and shopping fluff and celebrity fluff and -- well, you get the point.

(See What Will Dominate Election 2016? (ANSWER: ISIS and #BlackLivesMatter) )

Isn't "adviser" just another word for "pre-escalation"?

(See Military Advisers to Iraq: What Could Go Wrong? )

It's way too easy to launch U.S. missiles. (Maybe if it were a little more costly, challenging, or painful to carry out these attacks, they would at least require someone to give an explanation that makes sense first.)

(See AMERICANS: Happy As Long As They're Blowing Something Up )

 "Humanitarian intervention" -- the great pretext for US intervention in Africa. Glenn Greenwald gave an outstanding talk in Chicago in May, 2012, in which he warned against humanitarian interventions: "The US -- no, everybody -- always says the reason for military intervention is 'humanitarian.'  . . . "

(See Greenwald Was Right: "Humanitarian" War in Syria? It's Just More War)

There's no question that for the next 18 months, we members of the general public will be deluged with media about the 2016 presidential election. Maddeningly, 99 and 44/100% of that media will make no mention of the need to end U.S. wars, occupations, imperialism, and militarism.

(See I Support Antiwar Candidates! (Know Any?) )

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