Rainy Day Writing

Writing, Reading, Inspirations and Aspirations

Let’s Try to Be Helpful in the Wake of Tragedy

The terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday have opened a lot of poorly healed wounds here in the United States. They seem to get torn open again and again without any hope of ever truly healing. And people here get upset and say crazy things sometimes. We should try to curb that practice. It doesn’t help.

I know I find myself asking “Is there no end to the damage the jihadist’s intend to inflict on the world?” It seems like mass murder in the form of terrorist attacks is being committed around the globe. Lebanon, Kenya, France, Syria… innocent people going about the business of their lives being murdered in cold blood. Some of the perpetrators are singling out Christians as their victims, others are less selective and seem content to obliterate anyone within range. To call it radical Islam, to identify it as a religious war, is an insult to all religions everywhere. The level of blind hatred and malice they exhibit goes beyond any ideology or dogma and is indicative of severe psychosis commonly found in mass murderers and sociopaths. The inhuman acts they commit are atrocities to all of mankind and cannot  possibly be the result of religious zeal or indoctrination without the assistant influence of severe mental illness. They are absolute subnormals among the human race.

The reality of their existence makes it hard to feel safe anywhere. On my recent trip to Europe I didn’t focus on the danger, but the possibility of being touched by the violence tucked itself quietly in a far corner of my mind. Sometimes it does that here in the United States too. In a mall, a movie theater, an airport.

There is little refuge from the specter of violence anymore…anywhere. It threatens everyone–from American children in their schools to French rockers out on a Friday night to Russian travelers returning home from business trips and vacations. America had its 9/11. We have our gun crazed lunatics lashing out in unspeakable acts of senseless violence. Innocent Syrians have seen their country bombed by Assad and inundated with terrorist armies with alliance to no freedom seeking person. Europe has had its subways bombed, it’s journalists and innocent citizens attacked without warning. Africa reels with violence at the hands of extremists with a particular dilection for killing Christians. And on and on and on it seems to go.

The Syrians streaming out of the middle east and across the Mediterranean and Europe seeking respite from the war and a safe place to lay their heads are the most urgent refugees of violence. They are risking their lives and even losing them in desperate efforts to find peace and security…somewhere. It’s suffering and human tragedy on a scale that staggers the imagination and reminds us all of the escalation of unspeakable danger in the world.

Is there hope for peace on earth? Is there a way to defeat evil that destroys with no remorse? Will it always be this bad?

I really don’t know. I think it will take all the nations of the world coming together with resolve to even begin to shackle the jihadists and minimize the damage they can do. It will take international cooperation in policing the bad guys and in intelligence gathering and drone strikes and all manner of subterfuge to infiltrate and take down the worst of these groups. Perhaps we will never again be without them. But I hope we can control them. I hope we can minimize their reach.  I’m sure it won’t be easy or quick.

And please don’t say if only Obama were tougher on terrorists this wouldn’t happen. U.S. Intelligence has led in the war on terrorism and US assets have been in use against the jihadists for decades. We can’t drop bombs on Islam as some uninformed FB posters have suggested. Islam is a religion not a nation. We aren’t fighting Islam, we are fighting enemies of peace, freedom, education and tolerance who happen to identify themselves as Muslims but in reality are cold-blooded killers. This is a challenge that must be addressed  by Middle Eastern countries like Turkey and Saudi Arabia as well as the US and Europe and Africa.

And right here in America we need to recognize how we allow individuals to arm themselves like the terrorists with much the same result. We need to address that issue to insure our own children grow up in a less frightening and dangerous world. How can we defeat terror across the globe while political détente in our own country prevents us from successfully addressing it here?

There are no easy solutions to the problems of violence and terror in our communities and across the globe. We see how difficult it is in our own democracy to address the gun violence that is becoming a home-grown source of terror for our citizens. The history of Jihad in the Middle East is so much more complex and possible solutions that much  more difficult to ascertain.

So in the spirit of cooperation and solidarity with our brothers and sisters across the globe and with respect for the victims of violence everywhere, let’s not diminish the severity of the problem by promoting thoughtless social media posts or routinely blaming Barak Obama for the actions of madmen. We are honoring the madmen when we do, and that is just not helpful to anyone.


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