“Everybody believes they’re the good guy. The conversation that’s going on in the United States right now about ISIS and about the United States overseas is more oversimplified than ever. Americans believe that ISIS poses an existential threat to the U.S., but from there, the conversation stops. Consider the view of the U.S., then, from the perspective of an average citizen of Iraq or Syria: when asked why the United States dropped bombs on their country, the general answer is, “They were waging war on Islam.”
“Those are stories, manufactured by a really small number of people on both sides who amass a great deal of power and wealth by convincing the rest of us to keep killing each other... The way to disarm your enemy is to hear them out — to really listen to their story, and to realize that, “more often than not, you might have made the same choices if you’d lived their life instead of yours.
“As long as your enemy is a subhuman psychopath that’s gonna attack you no matter what you do, this never ends. But if your enemy is a policy, however complicated, that we can work with.”
Former CIA officer Amaryllis Fox