We have seen this scenario before, and to my dismay, we are seeing the same reactions from international “leaders”. From promises of a merciless response to commitments to annihilate the enemy. [Respectively, Francois Hollande and Manuel Valls.]
But we need to stop dealing in this currency of violence. We need international leadership that gets us out of this morbid, deadly circle; not some new airstrikes somewhere. We have to change the channel on this narrative of war, of us against them.
“Injustice anywhere feeds injustice everywhere”, to paraphrase Martin Luther King Jr. We need to fully grasp that statement, not just listen to its melody. That is the crux of what we are living today, around the world, and for the past 15+ years. If it’s not ISIS, it was Al-Qaeda; if it’s not Al-Qaeda, it would have been something else. And if not the middle east, it would have been another region that has been treated the same way.
None of the issues of the past 70 years in the middle east have been resolved; only new ones added on top, with the final calamity being the breaking of Iraqi society. The hellish anarchy that now exists in the middle east is the compounded effect of decade after decade of unresolved problems — injustices — with new ones tacked on top.
By their reactions over the next days and weeks, we will find out which international leaders are those that lead from behind (politicians who will answer the expedient populist call for bombing and killing), and those who lead from the front — true leaders that will break the cycle of injustice, thus the cycle of violence.