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War on Terror: helpful or disastrous?

Living in a country named Pakistan which is badly hit by terrorism and has been a center stage in the infamous War against terror, I know that this country has suffered a lot. Since we've entered the Afghan war against USSR and the War against Terror, virtually no Pakistani is safe from the militants who are ready to blow this land up.

Being a part of this War against terror, Pakistan has been suffered heavy casualities. We have not only suffered huge financial losses but also 30K plus men and women who lost their lives and a large number of them were innocent. These militants which drone attacks target are most probably the Pakhtun people of the KP province. Because of this hatred and anger against Americans and Pakistani government, these Pakhtuns(who are very brave) vow to take revenge against the Americans and Pakistanis and of course, its the Pakistanis which suffer the most thanks to the suicide bombings which have literally blown the hell out. I don't think there is any way of success against them other than holding talks because no military power can change their thinking and mindset of hatred.

I am not taking sides with the militants in this case because they're not the friends of Pakistan but people of both sides have been taking foolish steps. America should stop all this because this war cannot be won. This war has greatly tarnished Pakistan's image in the western world. Pakistan has suffered huge losses of around $50 billion while the aid it has got was only around $20 billion.

These drone strikes & operations against the militants and suicide bombings will never end unless talks are held by both sides and I think in this case, America should take the step towards peace first. If they consider themselves to be a friend of Pakistan and the world, then they'll have to take this step. They must wrap up this War on Terror as quickly as possible.

DO YOU AGREE?
(Please watch the TED Talk of Malcolm Gladwell 'The strange tale of the Norden bombsight' too)

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  • Sep 4 2012: As a US citizen I'm sad at the destruction and losses this war has cost - to all the people & places involved. I'm aware that despite all the suffering and destruction we are not near a resolution to any of the essential conflicts driving the losses and destruction.
    I do have immense respect for the people who put their lives,their futures, and their personal safety at risk to protect what they hold dear and I heartily wish these conflicts would be resolved peacefully so that survivors could come together and build better on the ashes of what's been destroyed.

    I wonder why all the leaders pursuing these conflicts don't recogniza a few simple truths:
    * You can't shoot an idea.
    * You can't bomb an idiology.
    * Death raining down from the sky doesn't simply kill or destroy targets, it enrages the survivors who will never forget what happened and will not forgive the perpetrators - at least, not for generations.

    I keep hoping somebody will start countering idiologies of hatred and destruction with the basic ideas of the great religions, including Muslim, Christian, Bhuddist, etc.
    "People of the book" the Bible, supposedly recognize 2 Great Commandments:
    *Love and respect God above all, and
    *Treat other people as you would want to be treated yourself.
    Also the 10 Commandments including "Thou shalt not kill." This is a very simple and direct command, no exceptions, no conditions, no "if's and's or but's." Yet how often this commandment is ignored by peoples who claim allegiance to the God of Abraham!

    I imagine a campaign of " God says 'Thou shalt not kill' and Satan is the Father of Lies - and war is Satan's playground." shouted, sung, written, tweeted, painted on walls, and held up as banners as people march together down main streets in cities around the world. I wonder if such a campaign might help us find better ways to resolve these terrible conflicts that cost so much and resolve so little.
    • Sep 5 2012: I think you bring up a very valid point about not being able to physically destroy ideologies. That is very true; I think that your simplification of the great religions is not representative of the actual situation though. The major religions of the day do stress peace, but a detailed look at histories shows a much more complex issue. Take for example the Hebrew law that you were referring to. There is a commandment that states "do not kill," but Moses, the person who first wrote down the ten commandments, watched as the Israelites battled different groups while entering their promise land. Joshua, Moses's successor, was a military leader who took over many different people. Samuel, a priest of the Israelites, struck down a captured king when King Saul refused didn't strike down the king. All of these involve killing, but they are also sanctioned by the Judaism. It is complex.

      Christianity has a similar situation with the Crusades. It basically was conquering, but it was sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church. It may not line up incredibly well with the specific teachings of the religion, but the followers of the religion at the time believed that it was the right thing to do.

      A similar situation is developing with militant jihadist. People will take specific sections of the Koran to religiously justify this war against Western society. It doesn't really line up with Islam which is a predominately peaceful religion, but it still has an incredible amount of influence. If a leader is able to convince a person that a war is divinely inspired, the convinced person will have an incredible amount of passion for it. This is where the determination of suicide bombers comes from. The thing is, this ideology or method of thinking is very strong; it makes negotiation very difficult. Some manipulate religion to reach their own goals, but that does not diminish the power of belief.
      • Sep 5 2012: Hi Noah, I think you've said what I meant better than I did. Yes, people have always found exceptions or excuses to sanction killing. I myself find it near impossible to say "Well, just do non-violent protest and sooner or later right will win over might." The current situation in Syria is a prime example of what can happen to peaceful protesters who come up against a vicious opponent.
        My thinking is that those who follow leaders that bastardize religious faith (and I certainly include the Popes who sanctioned the original crusades) by using it to perpetrate violence might be more inclined to think for themselves when the basic tenets of their religion are called to their attention frequently and forcefully. Converting some jihadists rather than trying to kill all of them could have a better impact than simply relying on military might to stamp out the movement.
        We humans find it much easier to let someone pursuasive do our thinking for us, but perhaps exposure to the waste and suffering of war + reminders of basic tenets of faith would prompt some to embrace peace and reject war.

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