“What we always knew that they didn’t…because of the torture we’d seen committed on the most defenseless people by those with all the power…was that if we did our job we could be the answer to the victims’ prayers and those of the victims parents and children.”
-Quote from, “Single Harness”
Half a world away, the terror organization ISIS dominates parts of Iraq and Syria with an unthinkably cruel grip. Behind our borders we see the awful videos of the coward in black who holds a stained blade to the throats of innocent people. We hear reports of unspeakable atrocities of not just men, but women and children as well. These things come upon our more reformed senses with a shock that is foreign and difficult to place in the reality that exists outside of our flat screen tvs and twitter accounts. But there it is, confronting us at every turn.
While the cruelty of ISIS should not be downplayed, they are hardly the first “cause” that has gone roughly beyond human imagination in their cruelty toward humanity. Every century, every generation has their “ISIS” to contend with. Whether it’s a Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, a Chemical Ali and Iraq, or even a Hitler and the Nazis, every one of these innumerable world-sized acts of evil (shrouded in a “cause”) is simply a justification to kill innocent people. People who could not hope to possibly defend themselves against such evil.
Whether we choose to ignore it or not, the world is often an evil place. Humans have the amazing capacity to love. Yet they also retain the terribly astounding ability to commit great evil. Gone unchecked and without the rule of law (and its consequences), evil makes itself a paradise where it is the ruler. Behind it’s borders, their power and their foolish perspective would grow until the world could not ignore them, even if they tried.
It was in the well known quote that is often attributed to Edmund Burke where he said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” It’s difficult for a truer statement to be made. ISIS, for instance, will not simply lay down their knives and apologize to the world. They are an evil that must be eradicated because of what they have done and what they will continue to do. But the more difficult determination is this: who are the good men who will stand and fight the evil? America is once again poised to lead against the triumph of evil.
As a people we must not be tempted to turn our eyes from those who are defenseless. We must always be willing, if necessary, to fight in the open or in the shadows for those who cannot fight for themselves. Because sometimes, we are the answers to their prayers.