NFP Statement on Terrorist Attacks in Paris and Beirut

Nebraskans for Peace laments the ISIS massacre of more than a hundred innocent people in Paris and over forty in Beirut. No good can come of such harsh actions. On the other hand, we oppose any precipitous declarations of war by the Western powers.

We understand the desire of people in France, Britain, and the United States who may have lost loved ones, or allies to want to go into Iraq and Syria with ground troops to wipe out ISIS. They perhaps believe that such an action will prevent additional attacks in Western countries. However, as the failed invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq tragically demonstrate, this approach is unlikely to work. Retaliation with a bombing campaign plays right into ISIS's hands. It is what they are counting on for the recruitment of more terrorists and for the expansion of terrorist operations.

What will work is greater coordination within the world community and law enforcement to interdict these murderous acts. We believe that working to alleviate the dire economic situation of Islamic people in Syria, northern Iraq and much of the Islamic immigrant community in France and other places is likely to diminish the festering unrest and unemployment that feeds ISIS. We also believe that police reorganization, to promote better security in Western countries, as well as trade embargoes, to prevent ISIS expansion in Syria and Iraq, will help. These actions will do more than direct military attacks on the Islamic State, which will only exacerbate matters.

After 9/11/2001’s 3000 deaths in the Twin Towers, we attacked Afghanistan to retaliate for the American deaths, but that did not stop the killing of Americans: in the period since, 2,326 U.S. military deaths have occurred in Afghanistan, 20,083 American s have also been wounded, and 1,173 U.S. civilian contractors have died and about 100,000 Afghan civilians have been killed. Iraq has added thousands more to the lists, and still the killing goes on.

As an alternative to declarations of war, we call on the United States government to summon Wahhabi Islam supporters in Saudi Arabia to rethink the commitments to terror attributed to them. We ask Western governments to forswear the history of terror, torture, and violations of human rights that have fed terroristic movements everywhere. As peace people, we agree with the insight of Louis Fischer, Gandhi’s biographer, who said “Satyagraha (non-violence, insistence on truth) is the exact opposite of the policy of an-eye-for-an-eye-for-an-eye-for-an-eye which ends in making everybody blind.”

Though we do not have easy solutions to the Middle East’s problems, we believe that undertaking another war is not one of them.

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