I know, not a cheerful topic. But there are some thought processes I need to work through, on paper. I’ve got a nagging itch in my brain over the news of the last few months.
About a year ago I wrote a post about all the brouhaha regarding IS threatening military families here and around the world. Several military spouses did. And while some tried to retroactively obfuscate their social media presence, many decided to proceed as usual with life. I don’t think either choice was necessarily more correct than the other, but I do think it was a choice that was largely academic. Sure, ISIS can say whatever they want online. But it was pretty obviously blowing smoke, trying to intimidate America to stay on our side of the ocean while they carried on their campaign of slavery and slaughter through the Middle East. Because, well, they were an ocean away, with no obvious means to get here.
I don’t think we can say that anymore. Or, not for much longer.
I’m looking at the current refugee situation. I’m seeing reported - sometimes accurately, sometimes not – massive amounts of “young military-aged men,” without families they are transporting or protecting, hoarding into neighbor countries and being, shall we say, disruptive.
I’m seeing that Yazidi victims of ISIS are not given refugee status by the United States. But we’ve already announced a quota of Syrian refugees we will accept.
I see the reports about the black market for Syrian passports, being sold to anyone, to travel under refugee status and be able to get through at least initial background checks.
I’m also remembering that millions of people, many with good American security clearances, had their PII – like social security numbers – stolen earlier this year.
And as awkward as it is to point out, it seems too good to be true that ISIS isn’t taking advantage of this perfect storm of streamlined access to the Great Satan. I think these are legitimate concerns and I don’t think it makes someone a xenophobe for saying them. I think it’s possible to say that genuine victims of genocide – like the Yazidis – deserve our aid, because that’s who we are as a country. I think it’s necessary at the same time to make sure the ones we are helping really are the ones who need it.
I’m reading an old speech by Ronald Reagan. He specifically references a different enemy (although I think those people still need to be kept an eye on) but the modern relevance of his words gave me shivers:
Those who would trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state have told us they have a utopian solution of peace without victory. They call their policy “accomadation.” And they say if we’ll only avoid any direct confrontation with the enemy, he’ll forget his evil ways and learn to love us. All who oppose them are indicted as warmongers….
We cannot buy our security, our freedom from the threat of the bomb by committing an immorality so great as saying to a billion human beings behind the Iron Curtain, “Give up your dreams of freedom because to save our own skins, we’re willing to make a deal with your slave masters.”…
Now let’s set the record straight. There’s no argument over the choice between peace and war, but there’s only one guaranteed way you can have peace – and you can have it in the next second -
Have we commited that great immorality by ignoring the rabid genocide of IS, the President’s famous “JV squad,” as they burned their way across the Middle East the last few years? As they crucify Christians, as they throw children into the sea, as they sell 10-year-old girls as “brides”?
America is tired of war. No one, certainly not me, wants more war. But as Pluto said, “Only the dead have seen the end of war.” We just had our first American military casualty to ISIS this week, resulting in the rescue of 70 hostages. But we aren’t really at war.
Or, as seems too often to be the case in history, we are. We just don’t want to admit it. I’m afraid to think of what it will take to get to that point.
Maybe I just need more coffee and a nap. But it’s really hard to watch these details pile on top of one another over the last couple of years and not think we’re seeing the world through rose-colored glasses.
But like I say, I probably need a nap.