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 Terrorism

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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Terrorism   Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:59 am

Terrorism
 
Recent events in the UK have increased our awareness of terrorism that is becoming more prevalent.  I share my disgust along with my sorrow for those affected by this event.  At the same time I wish to congratulate UK’s response.  Not only was the reaction by the police swift, but also the response by those in authority to reassure the citizens that terrorism will not disrupt their way of life.  The decision not to cancel the concert was a risk, but that risk was deemed appropriate to help dispel fear that seems to be part of the extremist’s agenda.
Some leaders were quick to respond with words of sympathy and support.  One response by a foreign power appeared to be self-serving.  Words of sympathy and support should not be politically motivated.  While the UK is in an election process, it is unavoidable not to make mention of this tragedy, however looking for a quick-fix is foolhardy and people will not be duped into believing such rhetoric.
There is no question that terrorism has already changed our way of life.  Travelers experience delays due to security procedures.  Public events are affected by security concerns.
My thoughts deal more with the cause than with the effect.  Rushing to judgment along with the feeling for revenge will not affect change.  I feel as helpless as many others that seek answers.  Why?  Why are these events happening?  Are they based on religious fanaticism?  Is it revenge for past actions?  Is it politically motivated?  I suspect that it is a combination of these events. 
“What to do” is perplexing.   Seeking answers must take priority over quick-fix solutions. In medicine, a good doctor will seek the cause of a malady and make a diagnosis for the appropriate treatment.  Sometimes the diagnosis is wrong as well as the prescribed treatment causing a re-evaluation and even a new diagnosis and adjusted treatment.   Only when the cause is identified can an appropriate action/response be initiated.  History can play a major role in finding solutions.  Terrorism is not limited to swarthy-looking people or people of a specific religion.  Historical events support this view.  “White Supremacy” or “Racially motivated” are terms used by the media to identify locally-grown terrorists.  The questions we ask are: What is their motivation to commit these acts?  What can one do to prevent future acts of terrorism?  There seem to be more questions than answers.  Critical thinking is a good place to start.  We can also ask questions about our environment.  What is causing the extreme temperatures and what, if anything can be done about it?  Scientists, just like doctors, have opinions and make their diagnosis with recommendations for treatment.  Refusing treatment is akin to denying that a malady exists.  Symptoms are ignored and the cancer spreads.  Just as there are various treatments for cancer, there are various methods of treatment for terrorism. Finding the right treatment is no easy task.  A band aid is not sufficient. 
These are my thoughts for today.  I continue to seek answers.  It is said that there is a solution to every problem.  If that is true, then there must be a solution to the problem of terrorism.
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Terrorism   Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:23 pm

Before oil was discovered in the Middle East, Islamic terrorism was confined to Middle Eastern countries. Outside that region, most terrorist groups were liberation organisations at odds with their respective governments. If the rest of the world stopped relying on oil from the Middle East, and withdrew all troops from the region, Islamic terrorism outside the Middle East would cease. The sooner this happens, the better.

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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Terrorism   Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:03 pm

You make a good point, Shelagh.  If one disturbs a den of snakes, the snakes come slithering out and endanger others.  The west has disturbed the Middle East in various ways.  Oil has been the driving force that disrupted their way of life.  There are those who continue to criticize their way of life and try to convert them to democracy, a system of government they don’t understand.  GWB’s invasion of Iraq was for oil, however it was purported to bring them democracy.  The failure of Westerners to understand the people of the M.E. is the biggest problem.  They are tribal States controlled by dictatorial monarchs.  Tribes fight against each other to gain more power.  There is a positive side of some Monarchs who are responsible of taking care of their people.  To the West, they may appear mean and ruthless; however they know their people and rule with an iron hand to maintain control.  Hussein of Iraq was such a person.  Kaddafi of Libya was another.  King Hussein of Jordan was a compassionate ruler and his son, King Abdullah II has followed in his father’s footsteps.
With Saudi Arabia, the King is largely influenced by religions leaders since Saudi Arabia is the custodian of the two Holy Mosques.  The Islamic religion plays a major role in their way of life including manner of dress.  Although similar, each Arab State is different.  The thing they have in common is the language.  Farsi is the language of Iran making them different is various ways.  Various religious sects within the Muslim religion create animosity and leads to fighting and even wars.  There are some leaders in the West who recognize the dangers of religion in government.  Our founding fathers included that in our Constitution with the separation of Church and State.  Some politicians seek a Theocracy form of government, oblivious to the dangers.  The study of history and awareness of current events requires educated and informed people in government.
In summary, it is my belief that we should not try to change a culture or their way of life.  Leave them alone and don’t disturb their den.  At the same time, if these people want to live in our society they must adapt to our way of life and that includes our manner of dress and the food we eat.  As for religion, they can build their own churches and pray according to their faith without forcing their beliefs on others.  Fundamentalists/extremists exist in most religions.  They are the ones who feel it their duty to convert others.  We need not look outside our own borders to recognize the influence and danger of religious fanaticism.
I apologize for my long-winded response.
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PostSubject: Re: Terrorism   Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:16 am

It was an excellent response, Abe, not only based on research but from your previous experience of living in Beruit. I particularly liked your snake analogy, poisonous ones! Gladstone likened the Irish problem to a poisonous tree that could not be killed by lopping off its branches; you had to get to the root of the problem. So, too, with the Middle East.

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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Terrorism   Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:55 am

Thank you Shelagh.  You can understand why I often get perturbed about events in the M.E. and remarks by people that have no clue about the region and the mentality of the people.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Terrorism   Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:57 pm

Disturbing news this morning of another terrorist attack in London where a Van ran over people exiting a mosque.  Is it an act of revenge?   Is Newton's Law of "action and reaction" at play here?
Acts of terror are too often ignored when it happens "over there".  The cause requires more attention. One can point to military actions that triggers hate and revenge, however statements by politicians can also cause acts of terror.
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PostSubject: Re: Terrorism   Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:02 am

All acts of terrorism should be condemned, Abe. We are not defined by the colour of our skin or the religious beliefs we hold. Evil can be found in anyone, unfortunately.

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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Terrorism   Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:40 am

Shelagh, I believe that acts of terrorism should be and are condemned.  Does condemnation solve the problem?  The UN has condemned various countries for acts of terrorism or other illegal acts.  Without the power to enforce these important actions, they are meaningless.  Unilateral actions are more effective than efforts by any one country. 
We must continue to voice our condemnation and frustrations until the problems are resolved.  Nothing worthwhile is easy and there is no quick fix.
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