JFK v ISIS

The article “What ISIS Really Wants” was good; it was also long, which makes me wonder whether enough people will read it.

I’m not sure that ISIS will choose any path that doesn’t force us to kill them all.

And I’m not comfortable with a course of action that turns us into isolationists. What would the world be like if that choice had won out during the Revolutionary War, and France had stayed out? If WWI and WWII left Europe to its own devices? What about Rwanda? (Oh, yeah, never mind on that one.) We should stop crimes of this magnitude around the world just as we should stop the beating of a child on the sidewalk in front of us.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

JFK Inaugural Address, 1961.

Whether you’re on the left or the right, Republican or Democrat, Green or Libertarian, Kennedy’s sentiments are fundamentally American: this promise is the core of what America is – just as it invigorates us looking outward, it frightens those who have more nefarious plans.

What America does not lack is a vast number of brave men and women who would, will, and do risk their lives in defense of others. That’s all the goal that’s needed: defending others. They/we don’t need a geopolitical agenda, oil reserves, or trade routes. The safety and well-being of fellow humans is a sufficiently compelling justification for these brave folks. If those soldiers were given a choice, they would bear the psychological burden of killing all those who would rape, enslave, torture, and butcher these people.

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