Veteran’s Day may be the best time to think about what we are doing. American military leaders are saying that we are keeping America safe by killing the names on a list. At the same time, there were a handful of El Qaeda members in Yemen. After our few years of drone strikes there are literally thousands of members. Our drones may kill members on some list, but we also kill women, children, fathers, sons, and even clerics who are preaching against the jihad. How much more proof that this strategy is not working do we need?
There will always be people who do not like us. Hell, just look at our last election. We don’t even like ourselves. BUT, what do we know? We know that people turn to violence when they see no other way to solve their problems or they have been egregiously assaulted. We can solve the latter, simply by reducing our egregious assaults. The other issue is not so hard to figure out either. Give people hope for a better life. It is that easy.
The hard part is in the “how” of hope. It is hard because military and the government is a “top down” organization. They make decisions and implement them. That only works so far. To get the people on board, we need a “bottom up” organization. We need the people to identify the problems and then help THEM determine the solutions. As they learn, they may not always choose the most direct way, but there are many ways to solve a problem. This, I can guarantee, the people will work the hardest to make their solution work and they will modify their solution as needed. If we do not criticize them when they start, they will more easily come to us for help when they see they need it.
We need to get the military out and get some teachers in. The best thing we can do on Veteran’s Day is to decide to bring our troops home, NOW.