The Last Time I Saw Paris

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Kindness Mother & ChildHaving learned from the mistakes of Shock and Awe, is it not possible that President Obama has chosen the strategy of applying military air power when needed to eliminate specific targets, intelligence to allies, and training to Syria’s regional neighbors?  These are parallel and simultaneous short and long term strategies, that seem to make two things clear:  Barack Obama is a reluctant warrior, reluctant to put troops in harm’s way – yet he’s better than most at waging war.

Perhaps media talking heads and their military analysts need view 2015 extremists in the Middle East as, more desirous of an ISIS Ottoman Empire imitation, and less likely to follow Pentagon Rules of Engagement.

Attacks of any kind, from any extremists, foreign or domestic, ISIS or Ann Coulter, Putin or Cheney trumps our reason, common sense and character, just as using religion or a political power grab as justification for terminating another’s point of view, is the lowest form of humanity.

Following a street gang turf war model, somehow expecting a different counter from the enemy, is ultimately a self-defeating strategy.  The truly strong are powerful enough to say, enough.

Like family feuds and personal political attacks, we have allowed an unnecessary war with a pre-emptive attack on a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, to prelude us, if not into World War III, then a global acceptance of, Good Kill.

However, this is not a worthy Revolutionary War for our Independence; not an understandable Civil War to preserve our union and free it from slavery; not a necessary World War II to save humanity from a maniacal master race mind set, but a multi-sided conniving set of egos, filling their respective war chests with multi-national maimed, brain damaged or dead.

Understandably, in the wake of the murders in Paris, few of us can hear our inner love for peace and respect for reason, nudging us toward anger management, and away from the oil profiteers that got us into Global War as easily as Global Warming.  However, we need summon our cooler heads with a Global View that can both accept a limited strike while the iron is hot, but also pause to access and internalize the new Global Reality.

Like Climate Change, ISIS is a global truth we can’t afford to deny or ignore, for it is a formidable 21st century internet savvy enemy. However, it is neither invincible nor without something to lose, and that is its Achilles Heel.

Nonetheless, evil is not a man we can kill or acts of violence we can bomb out of existence.  Evil is an idea at war with the ideas of united cultures working together for the good of all life on earth.

Evil manipulates, An Eye for an Eye and a Tooth for a Tooth into Global Conflict between an imbalance of interests, values and beliefs.  The only winning strategy is providing a foundation of global balance through international cooperation.

As we counter the profanity of Freedom Fries, by joining our French allies and friends in mourning the loss of life in Paris, let us consider what connects all on earth to this tragedy:

  • the history of invasions, enslavement of indigenous people
  • the Robber Barons and We Built That
  • Remember The Maine and The Great White Fleet
  • Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination by Bosnian Serb nationalist
  • the Lusitania and Pearl Harbor
  • the Bush/Cheney pre-emptive strike on Iraq
  • the nationalism of a few exploiting the heroic patriotism of too many
  • the ambition of politicians and greed of Corporatism
  • the rape of earth’s natural resources

On September 12, 2001, I drove to Gettysburg.  Both journey and destination filled with tears for murdered Americans.  Now in 2015, we truly are an Out of Many, One, village, with every act, kind or evil, having Global ramifications.

We are indeed at war.  Short term strategy:  limiting the proliferation of evil in the world, knowing it will take more than prayers, lip-service and bombs.

Long term:  realizing the greatest gift we can give is peace – replace the evil in ourselves, with kindness.

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