Failed war on terror has made world worse
To the editor:
The terror attacks in France were barbaric and cruel. They also show the foolishness of continuing with this phantom war on terror. Fourteen years of using military force has failed to address terrorism and violence's underlying reasons.
I refer to the War on Terror as a phantom war because only nations can declare war and therefore be at war. Terrorism is not a nation. It's a tactic. And you can't wage war against a tactic. A tactic, incidentally, many groups use.
Fourteen years of this phantom war against terror and extremism has destabilized the world, inspired many young Muslims to join terror groups, and created ISIS. This failure should come as no surprise. There are millions of Christian fundamentalists who are just as narrow in their views as any Islamic fundamentalist. Droning "suspicious looking" cars full of churchgoers or bombing power plants and highways in so-called "red states" would not cause Christian fundamentalists to rethink their position on Creationism, as an example.
The causes of terrorism and the rise of extremism must be addressed. There are many reasons, but largely it is the result of the sullen anger felt by millions of people around the world due to an unjust socioeconomic system that leaves most people in penury and feeling powerless and disenfranchised. The attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001 was because the WTC represented economic dominance and the Pentagon represented the military used to enforce it.
Sadly, an ignorant and arrogant US administration opted to respond to the 9/11 terror attack with war instead of addressing its root causes, destabilizing the Middle East and creating more terrorism. Yet, unlike the person who takes a wrong turn, encounters a dead end and never takes that turn again, the French and Russian governments are making the same mistake of believing you can declare war on a tactic or ideology. Even many Republican and Democratic candidates at home continue to advocate the known dead end of militarism to crush ISIS. What makes the continuation of this doomed approach even more imbecilic is that we now have 14 years behind us to prove the impossibility of defeating a tactic of ideology.
Had the developed nations instituted a robust economic plan to develop the underdeveloped world, including the Middle East, and the new system been founded on equitably sharing the world's bounty (enough for all people's needs), justice would have been manifest. Peace would be the result and the world would not be plagued with war and terrorism today. Sharing is the only untried road among the dead end of war. It beckons us forward into justice, brotherhood and peace.