About a century ago, both drought and locust plagues hit the Middle East with such force that the Ottoman Empire mandated that all men between 15 and 40 go out and collect 5 to 20 kg of locust eggs to disrupt the population dynamics of this migratory herbivore.
A century later, the plague flying across the Syrian skies is one of a human and military kind, not of locusts.
We need to stem its spread not by further warfare per se but by seeing that it is not further seeded in the minds of desperate young men who believe they have no option but to join in the fighting.
As the dust and smoke settle out and dissipate over Aleppo, how do we engage the youth there (and everywhere else) in gainful livelihoods that restore rather than destroy? How do we share with them the possibility of hope and peace? Hard questions. No easy answers.
Except that each of us have to live as though we will become the answers through compassionate outreach to others suffering far more distress than we have ever faced.
Brother Coyote, OEF