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Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 16, 2014 at 6:04 AM

Middle East: Build democratic civil society to prevent war

So now we have emerging plans to bomb Syria and Iraq, in an effort to blunt the power of the Islamic State. This is madness once again.

How much worse do things have to get, for us to realize just how horrendous the effects are of our past military actions — and multiple wars — in that area of the world? For decades we’ve avoided helping to build the kind of security and peace that comes not from arms, but first from schools, businesses and trades, and eventually from free and democratic civil structures — the truly important elements of harmony within a land. Instead, we’ve concentrated first on securing the world’s potential oil supplies.

Of course, it is impossible to build those things while so many of the people of this region — and almost the entire Christian population — retreat in shock from extremism and brutality. But for the United States to move ahead with this ill-conceived and ill-defined bombing, gathering a reluctant coalition for ground troops and more, leading a volatile region into war, is insanity.

And if extremists within any of the coalition countries resist and the war begins to spread, what then?

Find another way.

Denny Duffell, Seattle

Comments | More in Middle East | Topics: Denny Duffell, iraq, Islamic State

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