“Oh you just got back from Aghanistan? That’s like, in Iraq right?”
I almost thought the poor young lady was joking, she wasn’t. We were at lunch with a group of friends, and one of them had told her. The question blew my mind, and still does. At twenty years old, having just gone to war, lost friends, and come back, it absolutely astounded me that adults in my own country did not know where we were fighting a very publicized war.
I’ve realized the facts pertaining to the Global War on Terror are often skewed, misunderstood, and presented in manner that makes it difficult to understand. The conflict is complex, and the first thing we need to realize is that we are fighting people who do not share the same thought process as us.
I’m going to attempt to simplify this, and meet the demands of Internet attention spans while doing so, with the hopes that it helps more people accurately understand the war we are in.
These are the extremists, their small sect of their religion is incredibly strict. Their values are downright backwards, and to argue that is to argue the very principles on which this country was founded on. This sect of religion does not tolerate anything outside of its hard line “values.” Those who are not a part of it will convert or be killed. These people cannot be reasoned with, and will not negotiate. Some have labeled them “Jihadists.” Their war is not confined to any geographic or political terrain. They will never stop their fight.
We are fighting these men on multiple continents, in many different countries. We are not at war with the countries we fight them in. This fight does not end, it happens abroad and at home. In the minds of jihadis, attacks like 9/11, the Boston Marathon, and the mall in Kenya are simply battles in their war.
Their war does not stop, so neither does ours. There are no battle lines, there is no end, we either fight to survive, or perish at their hand.
“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”