Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Stop U.S. air strikes against the Islamic State and advocate for diplomacy
For the first time since President Obama withdrew ground troops from Iraq in 2011, the U.S. has become involved in the seemingly never-ending conflict in the war-torn country. American warplanes bombed the violent rebel group known as the Islamic State in a move that Obama passed off as “force protection.” Denounce the continued use of violence over diplomacy by the U.S. government and end its violent policies in the Middle East.
The recent growth of this extremist group and its violent tactics are indeed alarming. The Islamic State has been rapidly expanding in northern Iraq and parts of Syria for months, overtaking cities, stealing resources and weapons, and killing opposition, Shia Muslims, and Christians as they go. The Islamic State is far more powerful than the Iraqi military, which has reportedly fled when faced with combat against this dangerous jihadist group. The already unstable, U.S.-backed Iraqi government is now facing one of its toughest challenges yet – and it doesn’t seem to be succeeding.
Nations around the world are understandably concerned about the welfare of the country’s new democratic government as well as the innocent civilians who have been killed by the extremist group or are now refugees in their own country. But shouldn’t we have learned by now, after a war that’s more than a decade old, that violence does not beget anything more than violence? For all of the many U.S. and Iraqi lives lost during the past ten years, Iraq and its people are still under siege. Hatred and resentment against the west and its policies has continued to grow; it thrives on U.S. air attacks and drone strikes.
President Obama claims that these air strikes are defensive more than anything – he’s just protecting U.S. personnel nearby – but the ambiguous war-like violence that has become the U.S.’s primary defense tactic in the Middle East seems to have more to do with a belief that killing so-called enemies will rid the region of its problems. This strategy has never worked before and is less than likely to work now.
Sign this petition to urge the president to utilize diplomacy over violence and tolerance over imperialism in the Middle East. Democracy cannot be forced; it must develop organically if it is to lay down real roots and grow.
Dear President Obama,
Please reconsider using air strikes and other violent tactics against the Islamic State and other rebel groups in the Middle East. Violence will never lead to democracy; it only serves to breed hatred and resentment against the U.S. and western society.
The world is rightfully disturbed by reports of the Islamic State’s horrifying actions in northern Iraq and Syria. The group must be disassembled in order for true and lasting peace to come to this long-unstable and war-torn region. But trading violence for violence is not the answer.
Do continue to send food, water, and other necessary supplies to suffering refugees and Iraqi citizens who have displaced by its recent upheaval. Humanitarian aid should always be the first international response to a crisis. Lasting peace and freedom, however, will never come from air strikes and bombings. It must arise organically from people who have had enough, from neighboring countries who are affected, and from the extremists themselves.
I urge you to end the air strikes in Iraq, to continue to advocate for peace in the region, and to lead by example by refusing to resort to violence.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Zikoz via Wikipedia Commons