Nobody “Won” in Mosul

Recently, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi flew into the tragically besieged city of Mosul and declared “victory” over ISIS.  Here’s a  photo of what Mosul looked like after this “victory.” 

Does anybody ever “win” an earthquake?  How do you win an orphanage fire? Who wins when the senior center collapses? Here’s a very simple observation: nobody ever “wins” a war of destruction, a war conducted with weapons.

On 11 July 2017, a report published by Amnesty International, accused  both sides of violating international laws in the battle. The report  documented horrendous humanitarian abuses by both sides,  a day after victory was declared by Iraqi forces.

Another simple observation: The fundamental war against ISIS is a war of ideas, a war of philosophy, of religion. That this war of ideas has devolved and is presented—and fought–  as a war of weapons, a war of geography, reveals the blinders—and the blindness–  of those on both sides who are waging this war.

Ideas, philosophy, religion cannot be “bombed” out of existence. (In 2016 the U.S. dropped more than 26,000 bombs on 7 different countries, all purportedly fighting “ISIS” Let’s remember, there is no such thing as a “smart” bomb).    Although particular ISIS soldiers are no longer in the center of Mosul, their ideas, their religion, their philosophy did not get “driven out.” Weapons can never kill an idea.

To take sides in a war of weapons admits to a lack of ideas, a weakness of philosophy, an impotent religious belief system.

If you bomb my house, bomb my neighbor’s house,  bomb my mosque, and bomb my children’s school,  bomb our local grocery store,  and then drive through my town with your tanks declaring victory, how am I supposed to react? With gratitude? Relief?

Even if vicious and mean thugs had taken over my neighborhood, thugs who stole from us and made us wear their style of clothes, thugs whose ideas and religion were violently superstitious and inhumane,. was bombing our house,  killing our kids and grandparents,  making us into refugees the answer to that problem?

The idea that, “the surgery itself was a success but unfortunately the patient died,” is not a valuable idea. The idea that we can win an ideological, philosophical and religious fight with ISIS  using our white phosphorous bombs and Abram tanks and A-10C Thunderbolt warplanes is an ignorantly, violently  childish idea,  resulting in the deaths of thousands of innocents.

We must cease giving allegiance to the military mindset that has such an iron grip on our foreign policy. It has been proven, time and time again, not to work, and to have the exact opposite effect of what we intend. The more we bomb, the more terrorists we create. It’s time we demand an immediate end  to all such bombings, all such horrors  committed in our name.

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