Downtown Beirut, Photo courtesy of Ahmad Moussaoui
We at NPP join the world in mourning and solidarity with the people of Beirut and Paris who suffered unconscionable attacks last week. These heartbreaking acts of random violence are intolerable.
At times like this, we may feel anger and fear along with compassion for the innocent victims. The temptation to react swiftly and forcefully in response to such violence is understandable.
In the face of calls for an immediate military response, it is heartening that President Obama has rejected calls for a knee-jerk military action. If we are to break the spell that terrorism casts on our world, calmer heads must prevail. We must be deliberate in our actions.
Americans want our federal government to provide safety from harm, perhaps above all else. But Americans do not need or want false security, and our government should not respond with empty, expensive, and potentially endless military campaigns that cost human lives and countless dollars – especially if they don’t make us any safer. The hard truth is that our military campaigns can lead to more harm and suffering around the world, and make us less safe at home.
There is little room for error. As we reach out to Beirut and Paris with full hearts, we must also hold our leaders accountable to guide a deliberate U.S. response with steady hands.