I saw this headline this morning about the Taliban now RE-targeting the schoolrooms of Afghanistan. The headline reads “As War Enters Classroom, Fear Grips Afghans”. Indeed I think that headline should make fear grip us all. I know we have quite a few teachers in this little circle. I believe I have made my respect and awe for that profession clear in the past. Other than a parent, I think no one has such influence on the formation of a child’s outlook. You remove that influence from a generation of children and give them nothing but ignorance, fear and hate in its place and you get chaos and violence. Make no mistake that chaos and violence are not staying at home.
When the attackers began slaughtering children, they began with the girls. What difference have we made here? What CAN we do? I don’t know, but we must do something because this is a disease that left unchecked will spread. Bullets and bombs I do believe have been sufficiently demonstrated as NOT the answer. We can no more bomb them into agreement with our outlook than they can kill us into agreement with their distorted view of their religion. I can I believe in good conscience call it distorted, I have read the Koran – this is not what it teaches to my understanding.
I agree with something Q said yesterday, “I say this reluctantly but I think the Imams are going to have to take a hard stance against the terrorists. So far they are doing little to nothing to stem the tide.” (not an exact quote, she will point that out to me later..)
I think this is so true and I further think this pressure will have to come from the governments of the Arab countries. No matter how it looks on CNN in this part of the world if the King wants you in jail or dead, you’re done. In Iran that runs a bit the other way, but using the example of South Africa – if the world applies enough economic and political pressure I think it will make a difference. I don’t think there will be ANY action without coordinated pressure from the rest of the world. China will and has in Dafur jumped in on the side of “right” at this time because it is in their best economic interest.
One, actually the only, financing for the Taliban is from the heroin trade. It is the west that is buying the stuff, so we are in fact financing those who plot our destruction. There’s a dichotomy for you.
And who is at fault here? Is it just the chap who pulls the trigger or plants the bomb? Is it the leaders who plan the operation and get the supplies and money? OR is it the religious leaders who inspire those who take the action, who tell them not only are they forgiven for death, but also the deaths of those who oppose this distorted view of Islam are mandatory; they are sinning if they DO NOT KILL? The justification for killing is religion. I’m sorry but that just blows my mind. Granted let us be clear they are not the only ones to use this justification the Christians have done it, those weird monks in Sri Lanka, the Jews have used it and had it used against them. Nuts! But THIS wave of terrorism in the name of religion is more wide spread, more deadly, and more vicious than any in the past. I think we can consider that debt for the Crusades (a brutal and complete wrong) paid in full. Unless the world is to disintegrate into anarchy with small patches here and there of heavily defended enclaves of dissenters, we must find a solution.
Terrorism is ineluctably about power plain and simple. The link to that definition has changed over the decades but not the core truth. The modern methodology is to use ever more convoluted wording to confuse the pejorative overtones of the word terrorists. Recent terrorist organizations select names that sound anything but terrorist-like in order to sell themselves as saviors rather than destroyers. The waters have been so muddied there is no clear definition of “terrorists” today, which works to their benefit. If we cannot define it at the very least we need to be able to separate it from other incidents of violence and war.
Terrorists are not guerrilla warriors, they are not ordinary criminals, they are not the lone lunatic assassins, and they are not pursuing purely egocentric goals. The terrorist believes he is serving a higher good, that he is called to this purpose; and that makes him so much more dangerous and bloody. The agenda is to change political control, and to have a certain interpretation of religion rule that political state. It is not enough to prove “I am right.” It must be proved “You are wrong.” And if that takes your death, that of all your family, and those in agreement with you – so it must be.
Bruce Hoffman gives this definition in “Inside Terrorism”:
“We may therefore now attempt to define terrorism as the deliberate creation and exploitation of fear through violence or the threat of violence in the pursuit of political change. All terrorist acts involve violence or the threat of violence. Terrorism is specifically designed to have far-reaching psychological effects beyond the immediate victim(s) or object of the terrorist attack. It is meant to instill fear within, and thereby intimidate, a wider `target audience' that might include a rival ethnic or religious group, an entire country, a national government or political party, or public opinion in general. Terrorism is designed to create power where there is none or to consolidate power where there is very little. Through the publicity generated by their violence, terrorists seek to obtain the leverage, influence and power they otherwise lack to effect political change on either a local or an international scale.”
How surprised are you eh? This is not the post I had planned for today and I imagine not the one you were expecting, but the headline caught me off guard and we must say these things to each other. We must realize the truth of the world, or we will be lost. It is our world, all of it, and we are responsible for every individual on it and the state of the earth itself. Every grain of sand is the same as me, every Muslim is my child, every bird is my brother, the sea is my life's blood, and I am responsible for the well being of us all.
Tomorrow I will talk about shopping or the spa. We need that as well. My regular readers are quite used to these non-sequiturs of mine.