I’m sitting here thinking — as President Obama is sending more special forces to Iraq, as Britain is launching new air strikes against ISIS — that terrorism is winning.

Fear is winning out over humanity.

The United States has never been the paradigm of humanity that it thinks itself to be, but that does not mean it can’t achieve that goal.

Our leaders or potential leaders, from either the Republican or Democrat field, are all cowards that lack the courage to truly show humanity. Be it adding provisions in a new spending bill that would turn away Syrian refugees attempting to escape violence, to saying we should kill the families of those fighting in ISIS. To even President Obama and Hillary Clinton willingly falling into fear by escalating our engagement or declaring they will escalate our engagement in Syria & Iraq. Although a no-fly zone is a good idea.

No presidential candidate dare opposes the military industrial complex … not even Bernie Sanders. No one speaks about the escalating drone wars in Africa. No one talks about American imperialism, as we are griped by fear, the fear of looking weak.

The leader of every major nation must know by now that we are creating more terrorists than we kill with each drone strike. That every solider, every bomb we drop on ISIS makes them stronger. That Paris was a trap for us to be further pulled into battle with them and for us to turn away refugees. They want us to lack humanity, to prove their point that the West is against Islam, to create a war of civilizations. And we are giving it to them, knowingly, because our leaders lack the courage of humanity; they are cowards.

Many American people would rather live in fear, turn away refugees, and support further military involvement. They, too, are cowards. It takes strength to see the humanity. It takes strength knowing that, yes, there is a small chance that there will be someone wanting to attack us grouped in the refugees. But in doing so they are ignoring that refugees are the most vetted people let into this nation. That the 9/11 hijackers were here on student, tourist, or business visas.

And that right-wing domestic terrorism is more of a threat than any of them.

We are lost in how we are approaching ISIS, knowingly falling into the trap they have set for us. Walking into it blinded by fear is just a symptom of this lack of courage. We see it in so much.

There are many other things people are living in fear of be it the black body, upholding the patriarchy and fearing equality for women, and gender or sexual identity. The list doesn’t end there, but we are living in a time where things are changing and where status quos are changing. That is scaring much of the populous of the United States.

People are lacking the courage to grab a hold of humanity. To invest in people, not jail. To invest in humanity, not tools of destruction.

People are lacking the courage to accept with open arms those that have fled unimaginable horrors, and are using those same horrors to justify the creation of more destruction. We lack the courage to step back and see how our own horrors have created an apocalyptic region. And our world leaders are falling for it much like we are. They are gripped by the same fear, unwilling to show us hope, unable to grab the courage of humanity.

I do recognize that sometimes you must pick up arms to defend yourself, but defense cannot be your excuse to oppress others. You cannot get lost in the fear where you are losing your own humanity. We see this in mass materialism, extreme poverty, and the military-industrial complex.

So we must recognize when to set those arms down, when to realize we no longer see the other as human and when to see when we are lost in a struggle for more things at the cost of our humanity.

We will not be able to survive the coming global disruptions that global warming will cause if we do not. We will not be able to end white supremacy if we do not. We will not be able to address poverty and hunger if we do not. We will not be able to end the patriarchy if we do not.

If our leaders are unwilling and or lack the courage to grab a hold of humanity, then we as a people must do it. Maybe we can inspire a new way to engage with one another.