As we’ve all heard, Syria was bombed again by the United States, this time near doubling their missile strikes from last year’s 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles to 110 missiles. There were only three targets, many of which included a research and science institute and a storage space reportedly to have been holding precursors. The message was to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to desist from using chemical weapons and other forces of mass terrorism.

Despite the good intentions the United States always justifies itself with, what are we doing for the people of Syria? If anyone’s read the news, there’s always opinions around international affairs, President Donald Trump’s handling of these situations, and of course, the constant war between the U.S. and the Middle East. In light of all this, has anyone spent the same amount of energy reporting on the victims and their stories? It’s unlikely, especially those from the White House. It seems like war is on the top of the list for budgeting rather than allocating these funds to helping rescue the refugees amid the terrorism.

The Guardian reports, “The U.S. spends about $550 billion annually on defense.”

Where does the United States have $550 billion to spend? After so much talk about the economic deficit, why are so many Americans, including the White House, so keen on going to war? It’s never cheap, and even if the war’s worth it, does anyone know what we’re fighting against?

The answer is an idea. What terrorists work off is the idea that they’re rebel fighters with a pure cause, and the reactions against them is terrorist actions. Since 9/11, the United States has associated itself with fighting against terrorism, and while that’s a justified reason for going to war, we’ve been using the same tactics for the past 17 years, and the future doesn’t look brighter to ending terrorism.

We’ve been bombing the Middle East; we’ve sent troops in; we’ve taken troops out; we’ve talked with diplomats and others on how to end this war, but nothing seems to be working. It’s evident that war isn’t going to solve an issue that rests in the minds of the terrorists. What these attacks are doing aren’t bothering the terrorists. In fact, it’s only harming the innocent victims still stuck in the war zones because there’s simply no other way out.

From the many testimonies of those living in Syria or from those who have escaped, they understand nothing but violence and terror from both sides. They’re concerned about their lives, their families’ lives, and crossing their fingers that they won’t be the next added to a list of statistics.

Rather than killing more than necessary and incessantly spending more money on destruction, why not allocate these funds to saving the innocent people first? Isn’t the fight for them anyway? Terrorists are killing their people; they’re killing our people; they’re killing people, period. The most obvious answer to these attacks is to save the people and then fight. Right now we’re just tiptoeing over the lines in concern for innocent lives and American lives.

Has anyone read on the refugee camps on the outskirts of the borders? They’re in a pitiful state.

There are people suffering there, but these past 17 years the United States has focused more on ending a war bound to an idea. I’m no war strategist, but I know you can’t kill an idea.