We must not overreact to Paris are be forced to go back into military mode
First of all, our thoughts and sympathies go out to all our brothers and sisters in Paris. November 13th is now their September 11th.
To be clear, adjusted for population size, at the time of this post the death toll on 9/11 in the United States was five times worse than the death toll in Paris. That is no consolation for the visuals of the carnage. It is no consolation for the instilled fear in all of us from the feelings of insecurity and helplessness. Yet, we must not overreact in a manner that will likely make things worse.
Make no mistake, assuming the recent attacks in Paris were engineered by ISIS, an overreaction is exactly what ISIS wants. They need that as feed for their burgeoning army. They need to make it look like the West is against Islam. ISIS knows that bad and corrupt leadership in the West will use ISIS' vile acts to further marginalize and stereotype their Muslim population. A small number of the then aggrieved Muslim population will become their internal armies in the many countries of the West.
The drumbeat to force President Obama into overreaction mode is already in full vogue. CNN's Christiane Amanpour first insinuates the reality that a lot of these acts are blow back for actions in the Middle East that we should not have been a part of in the first place. She then asks French Author/Commentator Bernard-Henri Levy a leading question about the political game changer that will cause the West to fight and defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
"Leadership from behind is finished," Bernard-Henri Levy said. "If Mr. Obama wants to have a good legacy, if he wants to leave office with a real moral success, he has to help defeat Daesh." Levy went on to say that Mr. Obama must understand that if he does not get more engaged, there would be more blood on the streets. He said air power was not enough.
The irony is that when asked if France would be willing to put boots on the ground in Iraq and Syria, his answer was much less clear. The problem is that all the democracies around the world want America to lead wars for them. It is about spending American money and sacrificing American lives. Middle-class and poor Americans have been the pawns of western democracies and the American Plutocracy where all but them benefit economically from these wars.
'Lead from behind' is one of those Frank Luntz phrases to belittle what the President is currently doing. The reality is 'lead from behind' is a strategy that says everybody better be a part the game, a part of the solution. No longer will America be the world's warrior and police. No longer will all other democracies be able to build their social democracies, freeways, airports, hospitals, as America's own infrastructure crumbles because they are spending to 'protect' the world and enrich the Plutocracy.
The killings in Paris are vile and horrendous. But so are the constant killings in the streets of America everyday. So are the constant mass killings that occur from our abundance of guns in the hands of many who should not have them. A dead person killed by an ISIS sympathizer is no different from a dead person killed by a Right Wing kook or a gang banger. Yet here at home daily killings from gang bangers and monthly mass shooting do little to create the same atmosphere, the same overreaction, the same need for immediate action.
Our own fears and prejudices distort our sense of security and who we should really fear. I can foresee another wave of anti Muslim sentiment in the making. I can see an overreaction. I can see Republicans forcing the hand of President Obama. I can see the Military Industrial Complex salivating.
It is time for Americans to grow up. Leading from behind abroad and taking care of home is what will keep Americans safe. We are over there because our extractive Plutocracy wants us to defend their 'right' for ever-expanding control and profits. We fight them over there so we do not fight them over here is a childish and a rather stupid statement. If we are not over there they have no desire to come harm us here. For those who would, our resources at home will maintain our security at home.