Problems easy to identify, solutions not so much

Establishment-type politicians see Trump as the cause of all problems. Never mind that Saddam Hussain, Osama bin Laden, and ISIS were the direct consequences of their previous failings.

Western countries are not using countries like China, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the UAE enough in international diplomacy, allowing figures like Russia’s Vladmir Putin too much influence on the world stage, writes Angelo Persichilli. Photograph courtesy of United Nations

By ANGELO PERSICHILLI

The Hill Times Feb. 6, 2017 12:00 AM

We don’t need many words to describe and condemn the perpetrator of the Quebec massacre; the person who did it is a cold-blooded assassin.

Killers are killers, no matter the nationality, religion, or ethnic background. No excuses, especially the ones I’ve heard mumbling from some friends such as, “I regret the killings, but they should taste some of their own medicine.”

To this argument, I make two objections.

First, the fact that they kill doesn’t authorize us to do the same. We don’t kill because it is against our principles, and our principles are not shaped by the actions of others. We are not like them.

The second observation is a clarification of who is “we” versus “them.”

By “we” I mean all the people that defend freedom, live in peace, and respect others. This includes Christians, Muslims, and all peaceful religions.

“They” are people who don’t believe in peace, freedom, and have no respect for other. “They” kill Christians in a Catholic church in France or Muslims in a mosque in Quebec. Forgetting our principles to adopt theirs would be our ultimate defeat.

The suspect in the Quebec shooting may or may not have been influenced by Donald Trump’s politics, but it is also true that Trump became president of the United States because his predecessors failed to deal with terrorism and other social problems.

The problem is that terrorism exists or there are people taking advantage of our immigration system.

First, we can’t view the exodus of millions of people leaving the Middle East as immigration as usual. It’s happening because of a genocide against Christians and Muslims.

Second, welcoming them among us is the right thing to do, but not enough. It’s a Band-Aid approach to appease our conscience. We help them if we remove the cause of their diaspora.

Third, we must not build walls around the European coasts or United States, not only because it is unfair and heartless, but also because it’s useless.

We need our governments to take appropriate actions to stop the killers that push refugees into the Mediterranean Sea.

But this is the problem: our politicians failed us and the refugees.

We have two types of politicians.

There are those like Trump who believe that the solution is in building walls or banning people who come from certain countries. In the second group are those against Trump who lead protests in the streets. The sad reality is that both have no effective plan to stop terrorism. In the meantime, terrorists keep killing.

The inability of politicians to fight terrorism and stop the genocide created Trump. Meanwhile, Trump has given terrorists one more element to fuel their propaganda.

There is one piece missing—credible diplomacy.

Europe, the U.S., and of course Canada have no plan. Britain and the United States have retreated within their own boundaries, the first protected by the sea while the second wants to build walls. France is a barking dog chasing a car knowing that it will never catch it, Germany is scared and confused, Italy is busy with its own problems. And Canada is like the altar boy in a crumbling church.

To be fair, the inability of diplomacy to play a role is understandable. How do you have a dialogue with people who believe that after death they will be rich and surrounded by beautiful women? How do you sit down and talk to people who have made dictators like Saddam Hussein and Moammar Gadhafi look almost human?

In fact, we shouldn’t talk to them, but we should involve other countries in the process more. For example, where is China in all of this? Where are other oil-rich countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates? They have built a wall around them and let the refugees to flood Europe and North America. Without their “neutrality,” ISIS would collapse in weeks.

Our governments, instead of pushing for a diplomatic solution involving other countries, have left everything in the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “diplomacy.”

Establishment-type politicians see Trump as the cause of all problems. Never mind that Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, and ISIS were the direct consequences of their previous failings.

I never liked Trump and I don’t agree with his initiatives, but who will protect us from the terrorists? Who will protect the refugees, especially women and children, from the genocide?

The silence of our governments is deafening.

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