Have you been wondering what our response should be to the rise of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria)?
Through the Project Ploughshares “peace list” and a discussion among current and former Conscience Canada board members and friends, Jan Slakov collected some articles and insights, below:
This letter to Barak Obama proposes constructive, nonviolent alternatives to a militarized response:
http://fr.scribd.com/doc/238003591/Letter-to-President-Barack-Obama-on-alternatives-to-U-S-military-action-in-Iraq. (Links to other articles, including party leaders’ statements on the Oct. 3 debate in the House, are below.)
Here is what peace activist, WILPF member Jillian Skeet, wrote:
“We need to provide huge resources to UN agencies and the Red Cross to provide humanitarian assistance (we can’t do it). More bombing and involvement will just generate more hatred and suspicion.
Sending in the military from countries that will only inflame the situation is not helpful… It would be like a doctor saying, “I don’t have the right medicine available – what I have will probably make you much worse or kill you, but it’s all I have so I’m going to give it to you. I have to be able to report back that I did at least something.”
We can do so much better… when every problem is viewed through a military lens, it is seen as a military problem and the endless cycle of violence continues.
We have to understand that decades of foreign policy failure and exploitation created the extremism that fuels organizations like ISIS – more of the same is not going to solve the problem. Afghanistan is a case in point. As Einstein said, doing the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity.
I don’t think they want to bring peace and stability. They just want to ensure that in whatever scenario plays out, they keep control of the oil resources and they only care because ISIS is winning and is threatening their interests.
We have to go back to the drawing board and most of all listen to what the victims on the ground are saying – the Iraqi people are the most intelligent group of people I’ve ever met. “
Philippe Duhamel, former columnist with Radio Canada, now trainer in strategic campaigning and civil resistance, writes:
“I see two tasks:
1) it is no accident that Iraq and Syria are both cases involving heavy foreign military intervention and/or international support for armed struggle. Primary efforts should go to stop the influx of violence and means of violence. There’s a responsibility there for us.
2) convincing the local citizenry of the superior effectiveness of NV civil resistance, including powerful examples from the Middle East.
On that second front, there’s a great collective book on NV Civil Resistance in the Middle East with top writers from our field edited by Maria Stephan, a former colleague from the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC).
Here’s a link to “Civilian Jihad – Maria J. Stephan ed.pdf” in my Dropbox: “
Civilian Jihad: Nonviolent Struggle, Democratization and Governance in the Middle East edited by Maria J. Stephan
Other useful articles:
“Islamic State: from the inside” , Paul Rogers
“On not repeating the tried ways that haven’t worked” Peggy Faw Gish (member of Christian Peacemaker Teams)
“Iraq and Endless War” Robert C. Koehler
“ISIS: their barbarism…. and ours” Matthew Behrens
Witty, perspicacious summary:
Some articles in French:
“Une image vaut mille maux” Maryse Azzaria
“Combien de civils le président Obama sacrifiera-t-il?” le Devoir
“Laissons le Moyen Orient Tranquille”, Jeffrey Sachs
Le nid de guêpes – La Presse+
“Décapitation, déchiquetage et désincarnation” Jacques Dufresne
It is important that Muslims who are not extremists are heard from, I think. Here is one article along those lines:
And this very interesting interview, Oct. 1, ‘14, on “The Current”: interview with Hisham Melhem:
In Parliament, there was debate on the the failure of the government to live up to its commitment to debate any entry into wars. One article:
From OCT. 3 debate in the House:
Text of government’s motion on Canadian mission to thwart ISIS:
Oct. 3 question: Do you support Canada’s mission to fight ISIS?