Endless cycle of the war on terror needs to end

Editorial

Wednesday, November 18 2015

If we truly want to save lives, rather than taking on the endless elephant that is terrorism, we should be looking at helping each other.

There is no question the attacks in Paris and Beirut last week were tragic, cowardly, and will no doubt lead to even more deaths as France and their allies seek what they believe to be justice.

The cycle continues. It doesn’t need to. Those who are attacking places like Paris, are doing so to strengthen their own support at home. They do not care if ‘The West’ retaliates, in fact, they welcome such retaliations. It encourages people who are on the fence to join the fight against a perceived aggressor.

It is a play for power. To shift power and to shift more support in to the hands of those who would either take over the world, or watch it burn. It is using the giant’s strength against himself. The more bombs ISIS and others of their ilk can get the world powers to drop, the more supporters that are found willing to bomb or kill civilian targets in the west.

If there were some way for the world powers - the ones who claim to be standing against ISIS - to treat terrorists like the infinitesimally small percentage of the global population that they are - and ignore them - that would be the solution.

Every country has the right to defend itself. But sadly, too many countries are taking the adage ‘the best defense is a good offence’ or ‘hit first and hit hard’ as the way to win.

In the short term, it’s the easier decision. Fighting builds the national spirit, wins elections, gives short term boosts to the economy, and generally cheers us up much as seeing a bully put in detention cheers up those he/she inflicted pain on.

The problem is the bully nurses wounds, and there will be those who sympathise with him/her.  In the longer term, as we’ve seen demonstrated by the actions of many of world powers over many decades - all we have seen is more war, more death, more attacks, more terror.

“Stop. Enough is enough.” is what soldiers said when they came out of their foxholes in France and Germany almost 100 years ago.

When we remember them, we need to remember that also.