Waging war

Here’s what’s on my mind: I just don’t think waging war creates peace. I can’t think how bombing angry, paranoid people (if we can find them among the innocents they terrorize) is going to calm things down.|

I think terrorists want to be attacked; they know it makes their job of recruiting and radicalizing that much easier when the West comes in and wages a lopsided war against them.

As far as I can tell, groups like ISIS/ISIL use terrifying tactics like beheading for that reason: it so easily and cheaply and effectively provokes the reaction they want.

For our part, we are easily duped by the horror of these tactics into calling the enemy ‘monster’, and going in after them with guns blazing. When we do so we forget the horror our own weapons and methods wreak against the innocent, the guilty, and the environment.

Nobody is comfortable with journalists and aid workers being executed on video, nor with the lives of innocents being lost and destroyed amid ISIS/ISIL rampages. Nor should they be. But if we as Canadians are being asked to be at ease with explosives dropped from CF-18s on tiny living targets far below, I’m sorry: I refuse. That’s just more horror, as far as I can tell.

I’m not naive. I know the world doesn’t take the shape we want it to by standing by. But we create unliveable situations with Western foreign policy as a matter of course, then use them to justify military action, time and time again. Millions have died in my lifetime because of this seemingly never-ending cycle.

And even the nearly unimaginable notion of “winning” what is at heart an unwinnable war can surely never make that right.