Let’s foment security by fomenting peace for all

Everyone wants to feel secure in his or her homes and in their homelands. This is a universal desire of all the people. Some people have a history of living in insecure situations because of historic conflicts between the people, cultures, religions, etc.

The American people long felt secure in their "splendid isolation", even after major world conflicts in the twentieth century. But those days are over now. The events of September 11, 2001 showed American vulnerability to attack, and the reality is that several nations of the world now have the ability to strike the American homeland with missiles from abroad and from submarines, aircraft and ships at sea. Still, Americans want to feel secure, and have spoken loudly to their government of their insistence that security should be a national priority.

However, one would think that the U.S. would have learned something from the decades of Israeli history. Israel, since its inception as a State, within the family of nations, has had military power superior to that of its neighbors and "enemies.” Israel, since the 1967 war, has occupied lands of its neighbors, has built up a formidable arsenal of military power, and can attack and harm its enemies with strategic impunity. Israel has tanks and bombers and attack helicopters and even nuclear weapons and can target individuals out of crowds and assassinate them with special weapons and tactics.

With all its might, Israel does not have security. Why not? Because Israel continually victimizes its neighbors. Israel continually kills innocent neighbors. Israel engages in tactical overkill, beyond that of military necessity. Israel targets one terrorist, however, end up killing not only that terrorist but also six family members and five neighbors. Those "collateral" victims want revenge, and the cycle of “kill-and-be-killed” is like a closed loop tape.

Victimization leads to revenge – and – revenge leads to victimization. There can be no security in that framework of violence and reprisals. On a somewhat lesser scale of violence, social rights activists sometimes use the term, "No justice, no peace."

The U.S. has seen the Israeli debacle, and instead of learning from it and avoiding those problems, the U.S. is imitating them in its dealings with Arabs and Muslims.

The American people say they want security, but you cannot victimize people and then rely on military strength to avoid reprisals. "Revenge is best served cold," someone once said, and reprisals often occur when the instigator is no longer expecting them.

People who want revenge often obtain it with patience and cleverness and with deadly zeal. America will continue to face more and more threats to its security as long as America continues to victimize the innocents. The "War on Terrorism" as fought by the American military is apparently designed to be self-perpetuating. This is good for the military-industrial complex — it is highly profitable to investors in the Carlyle Group, and in the armaments industry. But it is catastrophic for the feeling of security, even within America’s borders.

The sad truth is that the worst is no doubt yet to come. America has victimized others far in excess of its own suffering. Chalmers Johnson wrote a book about "Blowback" and that describes dealings between nations. America has not only angered nations, but also millions of individuals who may be plotting revenge. It is relatively easier for an Iraqi to enact revenge on an American soldier walking down a street in Fallujah, but it is likely that one day an American in Baltimore or Long Beach or Galveston will feel the pain of revenge.

Why not learn from the mistakes of others? Security can be contagious, if all work for it together by supporting each others’ security. John Lennon once said, "All we are asking is to give peace a chance."

Peace and security go together like brothers and sisters. Let’s foment security by fomenting peace for all.