Just brief thought on the day after Thanksgiving.
Now that Bush is gone and we can begin to take an intelligent law and order approach to terrorism, which as horrible as we all agree it is, will always be with us to some extent, we will ‘need’ a new enemy.
Human nature demands it. It demands that we have someone or some thing on which to focus our ire. Sad but true. Sure, terrorist blow people up and we should do all we can to prevent that from happening….without giving them exactly what they want, which is for us all to live our lives in fear and to change our society for the worse because of that fear. We cannot let them turn our world into a police state to prevent the relatively few deaths they cause.
Of course the ideal would be to transform ourselves into a totally just and equitable world so that terrorists have nothing to blow people up for. While we are waiting for that to happen, or perhaps as part of that effort, we can redefine who the bad guys are.
We are facing a financial crisis, and we are facing a climate crisis, and of course we are facing the seemingly eternal ‘injustice’ of the rich living high on the hog while children starve. Perhaps we need a Global War On Robber Barons? A Global War on Polluters? A Global War on Poverty? A Global War on Greed?
Somewhere around 4 million people actually starve to death a year. Compared to perhaps 20, 000 deaths from terrorism. Yes, that IS comparing apples to oranges, but…..When you are watching your people starve to death it is very easy to become a terrorist. Especially if you are also watching, say American teevee shows that portray, shall we say, an alternate lifestyle to the one you see around you. And as Climate Crisis accelerates more and more people will face both these fates. Starvation and the desperation and helplessness that leads people to blow other people up. Not all terrorism stems from starvation of course, just as not all crime stems from poverty. Some folks are just ….bad. But most terrorism is not born in a vacuum.
How about addressing the causes of terrorism, not just the symptoms? Yes it is a simplistic thought, nearly as simplistic as the thought of invading Iraq to end terrorism. But in my opinion, it is at least a thought moving in the right direction. And moving in the right direction is about all that we can hope for, in this complex world where there are no quick and easy solutions to the problems we face.