In America when there are a group of bullies in a middle school, do we decide it is best to just blow up parts of the school where the bullies might be, accept the casualties along the way and move onto the next school? If you dissect a microcosm scenario of terrorists as bullies, our situation in Iraq appears as bleak as ever.

One might laugh at the thought of even trying to compare these scenarios at first, so let us look at the definition below of “Bullying” copied from Wikipedia online:

BullyingFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Bullying is the intentional tormenting of others through verbal harassment, physical assault, or other more subtle methods of coercion such as manipulationis the intentional tormenting of others through verbal , physical , or other more subtle methods of such asBullying can occur in any setting where human beings interact with each other. This includes school, the workplace, home and neighborhoods. Bullying can exist between social groups, social classes and even between countries. 

Terrorists as Bullies? Not so far fetched after all. As responsible parents, teachers and Americans, how do we respond to bullies in a middle school? Lets take a look………… Based on research, lists many ways to help our children deal with bullies.

1) Walk away

2) Don’t give the bully a response of anger or fear which is what they often feel power from.

3) Remove the incentives of the bullying if possible (bring lunch if bully is threatening to steal lunch money).

4) If bullying escalates, involve higher authorities and if taken too far (threats, injuries), then authorities will punish the bullies accordingly.

We must remember bullies often think their behavior is normal since that is what they have learned. They have often been treated poorly themselves or portray themselves to be victims. They look to find other victims to increase their feelings of power and control. If kids refuse to give them that power of control, then their behaviors are no longer reinforced in any way and often decrease. If not, they will be turned in to authorities and have to suffer the consequences of their behaviors.

Now, lets think about what we did after 9/11 in response to terrorists. We bombed parts of Afghanistan because we believed they were harboring terrorists. Then we bombed parts of Iraq because we believed they were carrying and supplying terrorists with nuclear weapons. This would be like us blowing up a middle school because we believed they were harboring bullies (say, bullies who had killed many others already) or blowing up another middle school because we believed some kids at that school had weapons and were supplying them to the bullies. Would we blow up a middle school if an armed bully was in a gym holding 300 children and teachers hostage? I doubt it. So, do we value people in Iraq and Afghanistan less than our own middle school children? Why don’t we practice what we preach to our children as a responsible country?

Just say, in all absurdity, that indeed we did blow up a middle school who held an armed, dangerous bully. As it turned out, the bully got away, but some individuals who had helped the bully did die along with hundreds of other innocent people. And now, those kids left alive, traumatize, all began fighting with one another. Issues from the past surfaced, and cliques now became gangs, and they grabbed scattered weapons from the bullies. Chaos ensued. Some kids even teamed up with the original bully after the horrific event. What would we, as responsible Americans, do then? Leave them to duke it out? No. We’d utilize whatever resources we had to help the kids, and stop the violence and we would help rebuild the school once more.

So, with Iraq, we would be irresponsible to pull out now. We should use the resources we have to attempt to decrease the violence there and help the Iraqi people rebuild. Well guess what? We have tried to do this and have learned that America doesn’t have the resources to do such a thing. Unless we were to draft hundreds of thousands of Americans into the line of duty and get the support of many other countries, then we are over our heads on this one. Even with the middle school scenario, there is only so much people can do to “control” others – be it adolescents or adults. There is no “controlling” the trauma of the lives that have been devastated by this war, there is no “controlling” all of the scattered terrorists across the globe in one big crack-down. We screwed up. Thousands of families have been crippled by our mistakes and there is no turning back from that.

What can we do now to be responsible? In the middle school scenario, the least we could do is attempt to help rebuild the school and the morale of the students. Our military men and women have worked hard to do this in Iraq already. We would provide guidance to those involved in the tragedy, which we have done in Iraq and need to continue to do. We would apologize for the mistakes we have made. But most importantly, we could humbly move forward and admit that we do not have all of the answers. There is no black/white or good/evil as many try and create. All we can do now is learn from our mistakes, seek guidance from others and act differently in the future.






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