The WSJ published an article, http://on.wsj.com/262O05f on a highly successful entrepreneur immigrant in France.
The piece chronicles the story of a child born into tragic circumstances with virtually no means of escape. By sheer determination and persistence, he succeeded in educating himself and immigrating to France. The story of unlikely success highlights the importance of equality of opportunity as a substrate that allows societies to remain hopeful, dynamic and content. The conclusion of the article, which states that we need to "break ISIS" is trite. The task is enormously difficult and represents an international quagmire. ISIS and all extremist organizations spurred by the disenfranchised and religious zealots, cannot be eliminated by traditional military means, as is true for most guerrilla wars and insurgent movements. Many argue to engage them militarily is to give them their wish. They certainly cannot be ignored. Using democratic principles in this region of the world has been tried in the Arab spring with results that speak for themselves. Education and the internet, with free information exchange, hold some hope. The problem is not unique to any religion or particular geography but now in history appears to be focused in the Middle East. Fanaticism and extreme terrorist violence have been manifest by all races, all over the world with the innocent slaughter of men , women and children. Sometimes man's inhumanity to man is manifest in a systematic way and at other times by fringe or splinter groups. Let us not forget the tens of millions who have died in the name of racial or ethnic purity, religious fanaticism or political purges, including in Germany, Russia, Cambodia, Armenia and Rwanda to name a few. Thousands of extremist splinter groups bent on violence are reported throughout history from Charles Manson to Sicarii zealots in the 1st Century AD who murdered Roman collaborators. Those who do not study history are condemned to repeat it.
We need a global comprehensive plan to deal with radical extremism whether it be Timothy McVeigh or Osama Bin Laden or are we committed to living in a world where the violently extremist 0.001 percent of the population will effectively rule our lives. We must always provide equality of opportunity to allow for hope of self improvement and minimize the feelings of despair of the least fortunate and downtrodden. Education, generosity and love may be our best long-term strategy.
Nicolas Argy, MD, JD
Copyright © 2016 Nicolas Argy