It seems a foregone conclusion that many from the West and the East will again meet in conflict in the areas in and around Iraq. The present strife on display there is observed as a risk that could spread to nations of first world status. Far less than half a decade may be tolerated to pass before urgent sentiment consummates into action. That is the visible cycle that leads to war. That is thought about what may transpire but not when.
Marie Harf had other ideas however. Her idea to recast the overall environment from which present strife springs is covered by Michael Tomasky. He concludes his article, Yes, I’ll Say It: Marie Harf Had a Point, with a stark scenario. The likelihood of the scenario he relates depends on the willingness and ability of those who can act to affect a different outcome.
Views on defense can be nuanced. War is not something I support while I do advocate for the defense of others. A strong defense establishment is vital to the latter view while the former is not. The life of others is important enough to deserve sacrifice for its continuance.
The defense of others must not be undertaken as a pretext for settling accounts. Defense involves substituting one’s self in place of lives under threat long enough for the threat to end. You either retreat after that objective is met or you continue to stand and address the matter more completely. Dialogue is the way otherwise defined as diplomacy.
Though someone does evil things does not mean we give up on them. A higher principle exists beyond survival and moral outrage. Reconciliation is the most difficult thing to do that produces the greatest reward. The only way to defeat your enemy is for them to become your friend. As hard as this is to take, it is the higher principle.
This also means that Marie Harf is right. Recasting the overall environment that produces strife or at least is fertile ground from which it is born is the solution. Those who work to undertake that task and succeed will be recognized for what they have accomplished. Those people will indeed become the friends of all.