This is a message to those of us who don’t believe that the assassination of General Soleimani was a wise strategy even though we recognize that he was a murderous killer of Americans. The normal reaction is to criticize the Trump administration for not having a plan or clear strategy immediately in place. This is a psychological trap that we need to unwind.
The whole cycle of war and initiating violence is an acting out of anger that has gone on for millennia. Acting on our anger is going to create more anger. Criticizing violent actions is going to reinforce the anger that we are trying to reverse.
How then are we to give ourselves the best chance to reverse the cycle of violence? It is necessary that we have a deep understanding that we have to change our underlying intention to seek peace with sane boundaries through strength. What does this mean?
We need to insist on the necessity of a diplomatic outreach on the part of either the President or Congress, putting pressure through our presence on their doorstep, to focus on a new nuclear deal and a step by step reduction of violence, and focus on a healing solution. It is so incumbent on us as Americans and hopefully the wisest part of the Iranian population to demand upon their leaders that we break this cycle of violence.
In order to have any realistic chance of this taking hold, it will require that we see that murders create more murders. After the first couple of killings, the original sources are lost. All that is left is the anger, distrust, fear, and violence.
The psycho-politics of war needs to be understood as the angry part that lives inside us all that can compartmentalize ourselves as the innocent and the other as the guilty. Violence will continue forever until humanity is able to see that there always needs to be a focus on sane boundaries and peace.
When dealing with the unusual situation of a murderer of the masses like a Hitler, there is no choice but to kill until there is a surrender. That is truly self-defense. However, when we are clearly complicit as we have been in interfering with the politics of Iran and participating in mutual killings for decades, we are clearly in a gray situation.
When we are in a gray situation, we must go back beyond our first reflexes to strike out and even to limit our judgment of those that have struck out. Please join me and the many close organizations and friends in demanding that our Congress and media lead the way in insisting on a fierce diplomatic initiative for the nuclear and military conflicts. Even if it takes several years, let it be shown that we as a country have gotten clear that we want to pursue diplomacy over military attacks.
I have intentionally not interpreted the reasons for this assassination. Now that it is done, the key is to get our focus on a sane and potentially long term healing, no matter how long it takes.
Photo Credit: A file photo shows the Ain al-Asad U.S. air base in Iraq’s western Anbar desert. NASSER NASSER/AP (CBS NEWS)