Tuesday, November 24, 2015


I am not a fan of the air-headed it's-all-good mentality on display all over Twitter and Facebook. This mentality is noncommittal and infantile. It is the mentality of the spoiled and detached. It is the mentality of the rich and those who are self-perceived as invulnerable.

Armed robbery is not good, if you are the victim. Spousal abuse is not good. Child abuse is not good. Poverty really sucks. Stupidity can be lethal. That's not good for the dead person.

Much of the world is controlled by people who are not good. These people, mostly wealthy heterosexual men, are selfish and greedy. When this is combined with a propensity to violence, the results are ISIS, regimes which oppress, regimes which behead, regimes which promote disparity between the minority elite and the great mass of impoverished. This isn't good. It furthers violence, war, rape and social deterioration. 

Fighting violently with those who thrive on violence just fuels their justification for their violence. In the current case of ISIS, it drives those prone to violence into the arms of those who practice it. Protracted violence is self-defeating. It leads to a chronic cycle of violence. 

My experience as a health-care professional with violent mental patients in residential programs colors my opinions. My role included taking some punches. For instance, a young man once smashed me in the face with his fist out of nowhere while we were having a banal conversation while walking down a corridor. Another man once kicked my shins with steel-tipped boots when I asked him to stop smoking in a restricted area. I have been bitten, scratched and beaten with chairs. 

My role dictated that I not retaliate. My job was to distance myself, take a breath, call for help and subdue the violence, if it continued. The violent person was isolated and sometimes restrained until his/her impulsive violence subsided. When he/she could make verbal assurances of self-control, he/she was integrated back into the community. This process could take hours or days.

The current dithering our governments are doing concerning ISIS is the worst possible way to deal with extremism (mental illness). This leads me to conjecture that there are vested interests in the fighting at the power level, basically controlled by wealthy capitalists. Arms manufacturers are profiting greatly. Governments with apathetic or hostile constituencies have the perfect external enemy to promote fear in order to control people. The  Orwellian "1984" approach. 

If The West stopped fighting ISIS altogether and instituted criminal sanctions on suppliers of arms to the Middle East, it would effectively remove the fuel which gives ISIS growing strength. ISIS gains power by ending internal conflict in their zones. It makes a great amount of money by smuggling migrants to Europe. This is a win-win for them. They get rid of dissenters and make money doing it. If The West pacified much of the region by ending its own violence, ISIS would lose a major recruiting tool and income source.

If The West simply stopped ISIS in league with Russia with a wholehearted military incursion, those who are now involved with ISIS would be scattered or killed gruesomely. This could act as a deterrent to future would-be terrorist groups. It would rob ISIS of any power. The conquerors could do the type of post-war development which worked well after WWII, as opposed to the half-assed approach, riddled with corruption, taken in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent wars. Clearing out ISIS could be combined with washing out the other corrupt totalitarian regimes throughout the region. 

The current state of frozen indecision concerning ISIS seems based in Western economics and economic relations with economically powerful states in the region: Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Iran. Perhaps the best decision U.S., Russia and E.U. could make from a practical political view would be to turn away from the region altogether and leave it in the hands of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt and Iran, while devoting its  forces strategically to shield Israel and their own borders from the conflict. The current state of disorganized dithering is just prolonging fear and insecurity worldwide. It is distracting the rest of us from dealing with big issues of social and economic equality.

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