The whole business of trying to win the hearts and minds of Iraqis, et al. by showing them how nice and reasonable Americans are--how we are so fastidiously careful always to use only the tiniest, most accurate weapons possible to avoid hurting any innocent people--only makes those "innocent" feel contempt for us as spineless fools. So the jihadists hang out comfortably in Raqqa and Mosul and Tikrit and Ramadi, confident that Pinprick won't dare touch them there. And, sad to say, they are right. Why any of the cities these bastards control still has bridges, or electricity, or running water, or phone service, or a sewage system, or fuel, or passable roads, or airports, or any of the other accoutrements of modern life after all this time is beyond me. We should let all those "innocent" Iraqis act like they have no choice but to shelter the savages in their cities, I guess, without paying any price whatever for turning a blind eye to them. Forty thousands French civilians were killed in the course of driving the Nazis out of their country after Normandy, of course--but we are more civilized now than in 1944.
The main thing is to resist our tendency as Americans, clinging to our guns and Bibles, to be bloodthirsty cowboys. After all, arms are for hugging, an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, and violence never solves anything. Surely a more nuanced, sophisticated approach is called for--what a European, say, would do. We need to let the local Muslims see we are sensitive to their needs and feelings, and want them to feel empowered. Who can doubt that making sure we never make them feel all icky and invalidated is more important than exterminating the lice who are decapitating and crucifying little children and Christians, and burning people alive in steel cages, as they meanwhile plot to come here and murder as many Americans as they can? Yes, sure the extremists push people accused of homosexuality off tall buildings, and sure, they execute a dozen teenage boys for watching a soccer match on TV, and sure, they sadistically taunt prisoners on camera before sawing off their heads, and sure, they bury little kids alive and rape and enslave women. But all that's only because they don't have jobs!