Friday, September 15, 2017

Terror and the cowards behind it

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-41278545

It’s an interesting world we live in, isn’t it?
One of the things I find most interesting (and frustrating.infuriating/depressing) is that some people rise up when things go badly and others seek the lowest common denominator.

What do I mean? Well, we just had two massive hurricanes hit the US shores and do heavy damage. Seriously heavy damage.  The kind that makes insurance companies, and government officials alike, weep into their coffee. We weren’t alone, by the way. The Bahamas got nailed to the wall, too. At least one island has been effectively scoured clean. It’s horrifying.

Believe it or not, this isn’t an article abut Climate Change Deniers. I can’t stop human ostriches from shoving their head in the sand after fifteen years of evidence. So there’s that.

No this is about the human condition. What we normally see in these circumstances is tragedy. The news media, in an effort to grab up ratings (because these days the news is all about ratings in the US (another topic near and dear to my heart). We’ll get a sound bite or two from big wig officials. Some of who even leave their golf games behind so they can be seen doing their jobs. I won’t name names. No reason to.

What we also see, less of unfortunately, is the smaller collection of genuine humanitarians who go out of their way to try to make it right. Mostly we can find these folks on the internet, where a few people have made posts (often condemning the media for not showing the story, but that’s nether here nor there) highlighting the restaurant that makes a thousand meals to give away to the people with nothing left, or the furniture stores that open up to allow in as many as can fit, once again, those who have lost everything, or the occasional mega-church that locked its doors rather than allow the disenfranchised a place to sleep. The politicians who had to decide where to put money they really didn’t want to spend on natural disaster relief. Yes, that too, made the news. Know what makes the cynical side of me happy? Sooner or later the little darlings always remember that reelection isn’t really all that far away, and they mostly do the right thing, even if it ill suits their desires.

They are human stories. Some of them are good some of them not so much. There is tragedy. There is triumph. There is pain. There is loss. There is survival. There is kindness. There are groups of pathetic losers who decide looting is the only way to go here. Not food. No. High end TVs and stereos. Because really, when the world is down and out it’s best to make the situation worse for some and better for you, right?

All of this in the microcosm of two drastic storms. Good and bad, naughty and nice, desperate and despots. It’s part of the way our world works and more the tragedy for a lot of it.

Then this morning I get up to the news of another terrorist attack.

Somewhere in London a vile, despicable coward decided to set off a bomb a train in the tube as it was pulling up to a station.

Again: Vile. Despicable. Coward. You are not making a point here. You are not showing everyone how powerful you are. You are maiming innocents. I suppose the good news is that you didn’t actually get the body count you wanted. That has to count for something.

I have never understood terrorism. It’s war method that serves no real purpose in my eyes. Rather than taking on military targets or government targets it seems the idea is to spread terror by killing people who are not even a little bit involved in whatever idealism is having a hissy fit this week.

What Terrorism seems best at, so far, is giving a dozen different groups a chance to claim credit for monstrous acts. They come out like cockroaches as soon as it’s time to bask in the light of being the most despicable sort of cowards.

The news article I saw showed a man who’d had over half the hair on his head burned away. He pointed out that there were a lot of people much worse off. A woman talked about being nearly trampled while people tried for the doors, and about the fact that a pregnant woman was pinned under her. A small boy was severely injured and bleeding.

I am not terrified by acts of terrorism. I am infuriated.

If you have a problem with someone, or an organization, perhaps you could direct your anger there?

If you are living in the UK and can’t stand the UK, might I suggest going elsewhere? The same for the US, by the way. Neither country is perfect. Neither is a complete evil empire. Most of the people living in countries where terrorism takes place are just trying to get through the day. I know the same is true in most countries where wars are fought and where, sadly, both the US and the UK seem obligated to step in from time to time. (Seriously, don’t get me started. I’m not an isolationist, but this sort of stuff could make me one easily.)

I’m going back to that old saying my dear old mother use to cast my way: Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right. Whoever has done whatever to you, find the responsible party and have a discussion. Take them to court. Write mean letters to the press and spam them on the internet. Go to war if you must, but do it the right way. Planting bombs and blowing the hell out of innocent people is not an act of bravery and frankly, if your god thinks that’s the way it should be done, you should seriously consider a new god. One that isn’t cowardly and capable of great evil. I’m looking at the American Terrorists, too. What’s that? Women can have abortions here? Let’s blow it up and kill a few innocent people to show how precious every life is? Yeah. That makes sense.

Back to the other side of the coin. The only news we’ll likely see is the suffering and the hunt for a cowardly bomber. I hope they catch said bomber and bury them under a nice prison. I don’t mean kill ‘em. I mean lock their nasty, cowardly little butts away for all time. For every story of terror, there are likely at least an equal number of small acts of bravery. Someone coming to the aid of a stranger, or hundreds donating blood to help with the situation. There are endless lists.

How to fight terrorism: 1) Let the specialists do their jobs, and as much as it makes some people cringe, if you see something, report it. In the worst case scenario there might be egg on the face. In the best, someone is captured. 2) Be kind. 3) Be brave. What do I mean? Be brave. Be yourself and don’t give into the fear that terrorists want to generate. Don’t let them win with their cowardly agendas.


That’s just me.

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