Politics & Media
Sep 12, 2014, 08:36AM

The Idea of Doing Nothing

Winning in the Middle East without war.

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After watching the President’s address to the country this week, I tuned in for a few minutes of post-speech news shows, comments from various members of Congress and several tweets. Through all this, I asked myself, “Who is speaking out for peace? Who is speaking out for doing nothing?”

Doing nothing does not mean accepting things as they are but rather doing nothing militarily. I think some Americans look at the situation as either going to war or letting the bad guys get away with something. Many people have criticized President Obama for being too lax or cautious on using military force. Many in the military find him weak.

I personally am thankful for his caution. Had other politicians, such as Senator McCain been elected, I suspect we would have engaged in several wars by now.

I really don’t follow politics closely, but I do sense in the President a reluctance to use any type of military intervention in the Middle East. I think he realizes we cannot put ourselves in a 4000 year-old fight. Who are the good rebels and who are the bad? On the other hand, doing nothing is a smarter solution than being reluctant. Reluctance can often be a danger. How do we go in halfway? How will we know when we win?

Perhaps my views appear to be idealistic or naïve, but the global community needs to realize that peace is only achieved through diplomacy. When we say there is no military solution, we mean there is no military solution. Period. Not regionally, not locally and not internationally.

There need to be new conversations. Major players in the world must be willing to join coalitions that promote peace. This entails having a multilateral international response. The UN needs to pick up conversations that were stalled months ago. One of ISIS’ greatest strengths is access to financial funds. Some of it is donated, but other resources can be cut off with major international cooperation. Humanitarian aid must be provided to civilians.

Ironically, the hour before the President spoke, I was streaming a live seminar with Deepak Chopra, world-renowned author and speaker. He spoke of our role in the world as individuals and as a whole. He encourages that we first raise our own personal awareness and consciousness, always mindful of our choices. This, in turn, will raise the collective consciousness of the planet. We will have learned that those reactions to circumstances that produce fear and anger and ego based emotions will eventually manifest in conditions such as economic disparity, conflicts, terrorism, war and social unrest.

American bombs cannot eliminate every threat and may, in fact, make the conflicts worse. I think we can win without war.  Sure, doing nothing means taking a risk, but I would like to see a President, for once, take that risk.

  • You make a good point. I personally do not believe that we will be able to conquer terrorism, an extremist ideology with weapons. The more we kill, the more who take their place. It's frustrating. The question is will diplomacy with radical extremists work? How far do we go to negotiate with them? Their conditions for peace could be terrifying....I don't have an answer but I am 100% sure that a war with them will not defeat them.

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  • As I see it, part of the problem is terminology. How can U.S. go to war with the concept of terrorism? Like radicalism can ever be defeated be it Christian, Islamic etc. In order to proceed rationally, everyone needs to step back and consider what is being said. Otherwise, these are "endless wars" by the current terms. Something only John McCain seems to want.

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  • You're right Jessica. A war will not defeat them as history has shown and the American people need to voice that sentiment. Thanks for the comment.

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  • I agree, Texan. Everyone does need to step back and consider what is being said. I hope the world can come together on this and the U.S. can reconsider it's political imperative.

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