“We don’t like to learn things in this country, we just like to make the same mistakes, over and over and over again” Kevin Wordelman said.
We know, at the Kalamazoo Peace Center and among the progressive movement in Kalamazoo and this country, there are alternatives to war. We can learn from our mistakes of the past and invest our resources into waging peace.
Below is a statement condemning the proposed violence, and suggesting some alternatives, written by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
We are horrified by the unfolding events in Iraq and Syria: beheadings of non-combatants – including American journalists – mass executions, and the rape and enslavement of women. These actions deserve a strong response from the international community. However, we are deeply concerned about the prospect of another protracted war.
It would be naïve to think that the overwhelming power of the U.S. military will lead to a solution. On the contrary, American firepower will only serve to broaden and deepen the war. Airstrikes and military intervention will surely further inflame and energize the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and sharpen their anti-American focus. The possibility for political solutions will shrink as war expands and the hope of building a sustainable peace becomes more remote. Meanwhile the United States will become more embroiled in a war with costly sacrifices in blood and treasure.
Instead, what is needed are strong international efforts engaging the United Nations and international and regional partners focusing on unified economic and diplomatic strategies that include working to cut off funding and weapons flow to ISIS; addressing root causes of unrest in society in order to stem popular support of ISIS; increasing humanitarian assistance; and working within the region to establish political solutions.
In addition, any response must take women’s needs into account. It is also crucial for the international community to recognize the role that women in the region have played in combating extremism, and to ensure that women are a part of any processes to bring peace to the region.