It Mystifies Me

What are terrorists hoping to achieve?  To put it another way, what is the ultimate goal of terrorism?  If it is simply to create terror, they have succeeded.  But then what is the reason for the terror?  When has terror accomplished anything other than scaring people?  It mystifies me.

If moderate Muslims are opposed to the excesses of militant Islam, why don’t they shout it out?  Softly murmured regrets for the deaths of innocent men, women and children, is not enough.  Are the moderates a bunch of cowardly sissies?  Why don’t they speak up?  It mystifies me.

Although I don’t believe Israel has a divine right to the land they now occupy, their existence in that land is real and obviously permanent.  So how can any reasonable person or group call for their destruction?  Here’s a fact: Israel is here to stay.  Why can’t that be accepted in the interest of peace and prosperity for everyone involved?  It mystifies me.

A radical Muslim organization straps explosives to women and children and sends them into a place where more Muslim women and children are congregated and blows up the woman or child wearing the explosives killing more Muslim women and children.  Why?  It mystifies me.

For decades the Afghans languished and suffered under the Taliban.  It was a sad period.  No music, no kite-flying, no toys, no television, no photographs, women confined to the home, girls barred from education, floggings in the street, public executions, etc.  Then came the coalition forces to free them and help them build a better society.  The result?  Seventy percent say they hate their emancipators.  I’m sorry, that mystifies me.

In spite of the lessons of history, the West (particularly the U.S.) continues to shed blood for those who hate them.  They continue to occupy a nation that has never been successfully occupied by any foreign power.  They continue to prop up corrupt regimes (Viet Nam was an excellent example) and impose “nation-building” despite repeated failures.  Such insanity mystifies me.

Tremendous resources have been expended on bombs, missiles, bullets, tanks, artillery which could have been used to win Middle Eastern hearts and minds with humanitarian aid, schools, hospitals and other Christian acts of mercy, charity and love.  The former merely perpetuates suffering and creates new enemies; the latter has a proven track-record of winning hearts and minds.  We persist in the former and neglect the latter.  Why does war trump mercy?  It mystifies me.

Should these things mystify me?  Am I off base?  If so, I need your help – please explain it to me. I’ve certainly been wrong before.


Filed under Afghanistan, Altruism, Culture Wars, Current Events, Islam, Israel, Middle East, Palestine, Peace, Politics, Terrorism

4 responses to “It Mystifies Me

  1. Paul Wells

    Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was asked by a TV reporter why Britain joined in the so called “war on terror” in Afghanistan. his answer: “We had to because the Taliban are against everything we believe in, so we had to invade.” Does that not mystify you? Sure does me! Why should other cultures have to conform to another?
    G W Bush told the world “you’re either with us or against us” when the “coalition of the willing” invaded Afghanistan. How can one man, let alone the President of the US, dictate to free minded people that if they don’t join the invasion they must be sided with the enemy? Does that mystify you? What mystifies me is why he was allowed to do so.

  2. A good question. Most of us are mystified by terrorism, but history can tell us a few things.

    Terrorists have been around for centuries in one form or another. However, the mindset of the current wave of terrorism appears different because it affects more people and has become global as the world has become more accessible, through electronic communication and improved transport.

    We just have to remember that the term terrorist is very objective. In the early 20th century it gained more power as a way to end the colonial powers. Terrorism was then legitimised in the 20th century by the west with the advent of both World Wars and the resistance movement. In the end the terrorist becomes a freedom fighter depending on who wins.

    Today we see many people fighting against occupation and using the means that has been around for a very long time. The main questions isn’t why they exist, but rather how we can make the world a place where terrorism doesn’t find a need to exist.

  3. Pingback: Terrorism | Middle East Madness

  4. dwhitsett

    To compare various resistance fighters to the terrorists of today seems to me somewhat off-base. Resistance to an occupying force is one thing but what would we have thought if, say, the French resistance fighters had directed their violence toward fellow-Frenchmen regardless of their allegiance? “I don’t like the Nazis so I’m going to set off a bomb in the marketplace.” Still very mystifying.

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