Vail Daily letter: Compassion, not violence | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily letter: Compassion, not violence

I’m deeply concerned with the turn our country is making towards intolerance and fear. Many of our governors are now refusing to cooperate with plans to accept Syrian refugees into our country. Some are even suggesting a religious test for entry and other completely un-American and heartless ideas. Sure, out of thousands and thousands of refugees, who by definition, are those who are fleeing radical Islamic ideology, there may be a buried terrorist or two. But ISIL is well funded, smart and dangerous. Does anyone really think their best strategy of infiltration is to put a terrorist on a boat, hope they make it across the Mediterranean, make it through the weeks in a temporary refugee camp with just the clothes on their backs, get through the authorities to receive a temporary visa or passport, then make their way to their “target” country, then make contacts with other terrorist to obtain weapons and carry out an attack? How about ISIL just uses their funds to set someone up with a fake passport, fake cover as businessman, and send them on their way to their country of choice?

The real issue here is how do we defeat terrorism, specifically jihadists? You can bomb and invade all you want, and all you will do is create the perfect recruitment environment for more jihadists. We need to defeat the ideology. And how do we do that? Well, a good start might be to show compassion to the people already fleeing the ideology, who happen to share the same religion and culture as the jihadists. These are the people who have the best chance to work to change the minds and hearts of their fellow citizens left behind in terrorist torn, violent countries where ISIL breeds terrorists. Integrate these refugees into American culture, just as we always historically have, with other immigrant groups fleeing violence and persecution. Have a heart America! Show the world what our culture and ideology stands for. Don’t sink to their level of fear and violence to solve the problems created by fear and violence.

And I promise! Not another letter from me for at least a year. It’s my self-imposed limitation on letters to the editor that I wish the constant letter writers would also follow, and I encourage those thinking about writing a letter that have never actually done it to give it a shot. Time for some fresh ideas from some new faces!

Michael Barca