Intellectual Warfare.

These days, it’s never a dull moment when you turn on cable news, and it’s because of what’s going on in the world today. We are on the verge of the escalation of a conflict we’ve never previously engaged in, and it’s okay to be afraid.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are not at war with weapons or refugees in the Middle East; we are at war with an idea, a fundamentalist idea that clouds the basic principles of one of the largest religions in the world.

Because we are not truly at war with weapons, we must combat this new enemy with something that has shifted the currents of whole civilizations since the dawn of man–we must bring forth a new idea, a new belief, a better way of doing things and interacting with our neighbors.

Just as it would be unwise to bring a knife to a gunfight, we as a nation must abandon the notion that guns and bombs will solve this international conflict. We must drop not bombs, but books. We must counter their IEDs with new ideas. Cue Ben-Hur.

An uneducated community is doomed to listen to anyone with a gun. An educated, modernized people will know that strength in numbers is one of the foundational principles of real democracy and self-government. Violent warfare is not the answer.

Weaponry will do little more than remove the leaves from this poisonous tree; as long as the root is firmly planted in the ground, the violence we bring forth against the tree will only serve as incentive to grow more and more branches.

This tree we seek to destroy is nourished by an idea. We must demonstrate a new idea. We must provide means to educate the people and fiercely defend their right to this education. This is the war that will be embraced by our neighbors.

We would only spend a mere fraction of the money we now spend on bombs, fighter jets, and guns to simply print educational materials and children’s stories in Arabic, Farsi and Urdu for example. If we are able to conquer the mind, the body will follow.

How can we expect to change an entire society if the mind remains set in its old ways? Think about this, people. The war we are fighting is a fruitless one, and nothing will change unless we reexamine what the real enemy in this conflict is.

This is a war of ideas.

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