Taking on ISIL

President Obama sends airstrikes and American troops to fight the self proclaimed “Islamic State” hiding within Syria and Iraq, but I believe there is a bigger war that is being fought.

President Obama alluded to this bigger war when he referred to thousands of foreigners, including Americans, joining ISIL and the fear of these people returning to their countries of origin to spread terror.  These are people so marginalized and disenfranchised that they have left their own countries to fight with those whose philosophy is so extreme.

The United States of America has long been a country of opportunity, tolerance, and a more hopeful future.  The State of Liberty is a symbol of welcome.   We who live here expect these things.  We expect that if we want to work, we will find or create an opportunity.  We expect that we can be who we are, like what we like, believe what we believe with tolerance from others.  Most of all we have hope for a better future for ourselves, and our children.

These are the freedoms that terrorists have tried to take away from us since 9-11-2001.  These are the freedoms that ISIL would deny their own people.  The simple freedom to believe what  you want to believe, is causing ISIL to murder the very people they would govern, and even children are not exempt from this brutality.  Within the Muslim nations political and social discord prevents effective action against the threat ISIL represents.

The simple freedom of reporting what is going on, is getting journalists beheaded, and yet foreigners from the United States, Great Britain, Germany, France, and others have all joined ISIL.

Is it because we are each so intent upon our own position, our own narrow self interest that our public and private rhetoric lack the tolerance that we expect from our fellow Americans?  Is it because we are so busy living in fear behind closed doors about who might sneak over our boarders to do us harm, that we hold all who are different from us as suspect?

It is time that we start showing the world and each other that we are living our American ideals. All men are created equal, does include all races, all nationalities, and all sexual orientations, and men and women. The land of opportunity means if you are willing to become educated and work you can get ahead and have a better life. Freedom of religion means you are free to pursue your religion as you see fit, whether it be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or something else.

It is time we stop nasty little digs in social media, our personal social networks, and political arenas and realize there is a war going on for the hearts and minds of people of the world.

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