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Fight or Flight

Mid East violence has hit a new high against the US. Flags burn. Embassies and consulates are being attacked. At least one diplomat is dead. Anti-American chants reverberate through the streets. At what point do we bring our people home?

Humans have retained basic survival instincts since the beginnings of humanity—fight or flight. Both of these actions increase our chance of survival. What does not is just sticking around for the heck of it.

In these highly violent areas, we are neither fighting nor fleeing. Sure, we shut down the embassy in Indonesia. But why are we allowing these sorts of attacks? Workers in the embassies or consulates are innocent civilians. Most do not even have proper military defense for these little bits of America in foreign lands.

Declaring war is not a feasible option. We simply do not have the resources to attack an entire string of nations after our three “wars” (including our involvement in Libya). Nor do we have the stomach to sustain a long, drawn out war with people who do not have the basic respect for life. The casualties would be prodigious.

Removing our people, both civilian and military, from the region is our only option. Fleeing is not defeat. They would not have “won.” We close all our embassies. We stop nation building. We give them no more aid. We deny visas from their citizens. Saving even one life is worth more than how it may or may not look.

We were warned of the embassy attack in Libya days before it happened. According to the headlines, the Libyan Ambassador feared an attack. The government seemingly did nothing to protect him. They are still denying the advanced warning. If our government cannot protect its own representatives in other countries with advanced notice, then how can they protect anything or anyone else?

Sometimes protection comes in the form of fight. Other times, protection comes in the form of flight. We need to have the courage to do the one that is right.


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