Thursday, June 12, 2014

Syria, Iraq, Ukraine … oh my!

by Leigh Pomeroy

It seems like a certain part of the world is falling apart. Okay, so Syria and Iraq are contiguous, but Ukraine? Well, it's not that far away.

Here's the issue, at least for Americans, of whom many — perhaps most — think that the world revolves around them like those of Galileo's time thought the universe revolved around the earth.

The U.S. is powerless to fix political problems in other parts of the planet. Hell, our current Congress has proved that the U.S., under its tutelage, is powerless to fix problems even in this country. (Sorry, Republicans, but the only branches of the government in recent years that have any effect on the progress — or not — have been the executive and judicial branches.)

So get used to it: The U.S. can no longer be the world's protector. In fact, since World War II it never could.

The world is going to do what it's going to do. Conflict will continue as long as people express themselves with weaponry rather than educated discussion. Those who are invested with extreme, uncompromising views will go on trying to forcibly convert others; and if the others don't convert they will be killed. The principal victims will overwhelmingly be the innocent and otherwise uninvolved.

What can the U.S. do? The only thing it can do what what some might argue it does best:

Do good. Provide humanitarian aid. Lead by positive example. Help the innocents who have been victimized. Empower those who work for peace. It is the long slog but ultimately the only way that gives any hope of true, lasting solution.

What must the U.S. not do? Get involved militarily. Militarism is an outmoded pre-21st century solution to what are now 21st century problems. If you look at military aggressors today, they are not of this century. Their ideas are based in old conflicts and often ancient philosophies. The U.S. must not stoop to that level. Only by its example and good works will it be able to create lasting change.

Remember: The majority in all conflicts are the innocent noncombatants. Those are the ones we must act for.

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