Tags: United States | Terrorism | Iraq | ISIS | Vietnam

US Must See Itself as Benevolent to Win on Terror

By Wednesday, 18 February 2015 11:19 AM Current | Bio | Archive

The graphic pictures of a Jordanian pilot being burned alive by militants from the Islamic State, or ISIS, were chilling, raising doubts about the humanity of  Islamic terrorists capable of such barbarism. This coupled with beheadings and crucifixions gives us a better understanding of the evil we and the rest of the world face.

These terrorists have stated their intention to annihilate Israel, and to destroy the American way of life — which they consider corrupt and evil. Undoubtedly, America has its faults like every other country inhabited by human beings. It requires the suspension of knowledge of accurate American history to believe, as some do, that we are the source of much of the trouble in the world.

Conditions in the world have improved more dramatically since the advent of the U.S. than at any other time in human history. Our innovation and compassion provide one of the highest standards of living in the world, while lifting conditions in many other nations.

Understanding we are not evil makes it easier to identify evil elsewhere and combat it effectively. When we accept the falsehood that everyone is equally bad, and, therefore, we have no right or obligation to interfere with atrocities occurring elsewhere in the world, we facilitate the development and growth of groups like ISIS, which are not dissimilar to the adherents of Adolf Hitler — who also aspired to world domination.

An objective analysis of American history demonstrates we were late in joining the efforts of others to combat evil during both World Wars I and II. Hopefully, we have learned from these mistakes; that it is better to fight enemies while they are in their adolescent stages than to wait until they have fully matured, posing a much greater threat.

I certainly do not believe we need to involve ourselves in every conflict on the planet.
I believe we involved ourselves in the Vietnam conflict without clear goals or strategies.

Hopefully, we learned from that experience that it is neither wise nor correct to try to impose our way of life on others. I also feel there were better ways to handle Saddam Hussein than a full-fledged military confrontation. Those better ways would have involved a plan for Iraqi leadership over the long term. These unfortunate experiences have made some gun-shy to the point that they probably would rather be invaded than adopt an offensive war posture.

This is a critical time in the history of the world. We must clear our heads, thinking logically about the consequences of underestimating the threat posed by a host of Islamic terrorist groups. It is clear that they have a plan they believe will yield a victory in their quest for world domination.

Some in our country are arrogant enough to believe such a goal is preposterous. Others believe our time has come and gone and resistance is useless. Both of these beliefs are absolutely wrong and do not take into account the strength and resolve inherent in the American character.

The battle we are entering will be difficult and fraught with surprises. As Winston Churchill said, "You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of all terrors. Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory, there is no survival."

Dr. Ben Carson is an emeritus professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and has been awarded more than 60 honorary doctorate degrees and dozens of national merit citations. He has authored more than 100 neurosurgical publications and has written five best-selling books, including "America the Beautiful." For more on Dr. Carson, Click Here Now.


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Understanding we are not evil makes it easier to identify evil elsewhere and combat it effectively.
United States, Terrorism, Iraq, ISIS, Vietnam
Wednesday, 18 February 2015 11:19 AM
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