ISIS, ISIL and DAESH are all acronyms used to describe the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The question is, how do we defeat it? After several stays in the Middle East, I find the answer anything but simple.
Near the conclusion of the action movie, “Ender’s Game,” the main character, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, is congratulated for destroying the alien planet that nearly wiped out the human race. Ender’s colonel greets him, saying, “We won, that’s all that matters!” Realizing something more important, Ender responds with a bit of remorse, “No. The way we win matters.”
We are addressing the threat of ISIS incorrectly. We must change our approach, because Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi were correct in their theory that violence only perpetuates further violence.
Defeating ISIS is not all that matters. The way in which we win matters. If not for us, for our future kin.
If we choose to respond to ISIS with violence, then yes, we will have its members’ obedience, but it will neither be voluntary nor long-lived. The only way to truly defeat ISIS is to change the hearts and minds of those who follow its ideology.
The way we defeat ISIS matters.