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Ethics & Religion
June 14, 2016
Column #1,816
Lessons From Orlando
By Mike McManus

The first lesson America should learn from the Orlando tragedy is that assault weapons, such as the AR-15, should be banned from sale to the public. No hunter needs a machine gun to shoot a deer. No homeowner needs an AR-15 to protect his family. A pistol or rifle will do.

Banning the sale of military grade combat weapons will save lives. And lives are more precious than NRA ideology.

The second lesson of the Orlando massacre is that the Islamic State must be eliminated. Its example is inspiring Islamic extremists such as Omar Mateen and the killers of San Bernadino to murder innocent Americans. More important, ISIS is responsible for the killing of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Syrians - and has forced millions of Muslims to flee to Europe.

Obama has botched the Islamic State issue for years. How could he have ever called it the "JV team" or Junior Varsity? JV teams don't slaughter their opponents and their families. Why can't he call ISIS "Muslim extremists?" Why did he not leave some American troops on the Iraq border, as we did in Germany, Japan and South Korea after those wars? That might have prevented the rise of ISIS. Why has Obama's fighting of the Islamic State been limited to bombing and sending military advisers?

While most of the fighters against ISIS should be Muslim, there is no way to wipe out the Islamic State without 10,000 to 20,000 American troops on the ground.

America must become known for its compassion for Muslim victims of the Islamic State. For example, emergency relief must be given to Sunni and Shiite refugees who are dying without our help.

By defeating ISIS, we will give Islamic State territory back to its owners, peaceful Muslim families who want to go back to their homes, which may be destroyed but can be rebuilt, with the help of a new American Marshall Plan.

Americans have never fought wars to seize territory, but to defend innocent victims, and help them to rebuild their lives. In World War II, we fought Nazis who killed 6 million Jews and who seized peaceful neighboring countries such as France and Holland. We liberated the Dutch and French - to their great joy. We stopped the Nazi bombing of London.

And our Marshall Plan helped rebuild their shattered economies - not just France but our former enemy, Germany. That should be our model in the Middle East.

America is a Christian nation, which really does believe that we should love our enemies. Japan was such an enemy in World War II. It had to be defeated. I have been to Hiroshima, where America was right to drop a bomb that convinced the Japanese to quit. On the other hand, I'm glad we helped the Japanese to rebuild their economy, loving our enemy.

However, we must confess that some of our wars should never have been fought - such as Vietnam and Iraq where we had no enemy, but killed hundreds of thousands if not millions. When I walk past the Vietnam Wall where the names of 58,000 Americans are engraved, I ask why did they have to lose their lives?

Another lesson of Orlando is that Donald Trump is wrong in his analysis of the issue and his prescriptions. "We need to tell the truth about radical Islam is coming to our shores," he said, although the Orlando and San Bernardino Muslim killers were born in America. Trump said that if elected he would create a "responsible immigration policy" that would ban all Muslim immigration from areas of the world with a history of terrorism. That's virtually all Muslim countries.

And he blamed American Muslims for harboring terrorists and criticized them for not turning them over to U.S. authorities. "The Muslims have to work with us. They know that (Orlando gunman Omar Mateen) was bad. They knew the people in San Bernardino were bad. But you know what? They didn't turn them in."

Banning all Muslim immigration and blaming the attacks on U.S. Muslim coverups - will only inflame more home-grown Muslim attacks. It is Trump foolishness. And it is dangerous. As Hillary Clinton put it, "Inflammatory anti-Muslim rhetoric" alienates peace-loving Muslims and inhibits U.S. efforts to combat terrorism.

Her response was far wiser. "We stand together, because we are stronger together. E pluribus unum - out of many, one - has seen us through the darkest chapters of our history."

Trump's ancestors came from Ireland, known for its terror on both sides.

______________________________________________________________________
Copyright (c) 2016 Michael J. McManus, President of Marriage Savers and a syndicated columnist. For past columns, see www.ethicsandreligion.com and hit Search for any topic.

 

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