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It's Falling Apart [Part I]

The world that is. I’m sure you’ve noticed the recent springing up of bombings, shootings, verbal attacks, and other endless, and mostly pointless, acts that have been happening on the world scene. It seems like there’s no consideration for the other side at all. It’s just an endless circle that keeps repeating itself over. One side acts, the other retaliates, which causes further retaliations and so on and so forth. What do I mean by all this? I will cover some of the more prevalent topics in different parts. To put them all into one post would be far too long. I have lots to say alright? =D

Let’s start at the beginning, or almost the beginning. Many people see and hear on TV or the radio about the numerous and seemingly more habitual reports of terrorist bombings or shootings. Many of us just accept this as a fact of life in recent times and rarely think about the reasons behind terrorism.

On one hand, you have President Bush ranting and raving that it’s Islamic extremists who hate America because of its freedom and prosperity. I personally think that’s a load of BS. One can probably trace the problems back to the Arab-Israel conflict that exists to this day.

I won’t get into Jewish history or anything like that here. You could do a PhD on the subject and there’d still be an infinite number of unanswered or poorly answered questions. But it would appear as though the Arabs were never satisfied that the Jewish people ‘took’ their land in the Middle East. Problem is, history tells us that these people were once inhabitants of the area long before Islam had any hold over the region. They didn’t ‘take’ the land from the Arabs, they were merely reclaiming it. But humans have short memories and things thousands of years in the past seem to have been either forgotten or misinterpreted. The Jewish state of Israel is seen as an invading force of outsiders; a group that should be removed from their ‘rightful’ territory.

And so the wars began. Several wars were fought between the Arab countries and Israel. Through determination and the more advanced weaponry of the Western Hemisphere (specifically the United States), Israel prevailed through it all and has grown to become the dominant military power of the region. Of course, this only served to anger the Arabs even more. To fight them, all out war was no longer the option. So what do they do? They use ‘terrorism’.

I recently read an article on this subject that presented the terrorism on the United States and the rest of the Western hemisphere in an interesting way. The Arabs and Israel were embroiled in a long drawn out conflict. It was their war; no one else’s. Casualties mounted on both sides with civilians being caught up in the bombing and shelling. One day as an Arab, you arrive back in your town to discover it obliterated. But something curious captures your attention. A local boy has found a part of the bomb casing that destroyed your home and family. Officials tell you that the bomb was not Israeli, but American. Throughout the land, many other people find out the same thing as the American ‘smart bombs’ are being put to use in devastating fashion. Many are angered at not only the Israelis for using these new weapons but also America for supplying these weapons.

And so if the terrorism tactic can be used against Israel, it can also be used against the United States. Cue carnage. Thus the question that was asked most prevalently after 9/11 (Why?) can be perhaps answered. Because your bombs destroyed my village; because your weapons killed many thousand Arabs; because you support our enemy. That seems like a reasonable explanation. If Canada were in a war against some country and all of a sudden your home was blown up by a bomb that said Made in America, wouldn’t you be damned pissed at the Americans?

The so called ‘war on terrorism’ isn’t exactly giving these people who hate America much reason to change their views. In addition, the war has dragged many other countries into the fray. Now it’s not only American bombs that are falling. You’ve also got British and Spanish bombs falling which have probably been the reason for the terrorist actions in those countries. Some wonder why these terrorist acts continue, but do we forget the tens of thousands of innocent Afghan and Iraqi civilians have died under the shower of bombs?

Although the United States or other coalition members do not put forth official or estimated casualty numbers for Afghan and/or Iraqi civilians killed in this conflict (more than likely because they don’t give a shit and don’t want to turn even more public support against them) independent groups have reported that the number of dead civilians in these two countries could add up to more than 30,000. Seriously injured start at 50,000 people on the low end. Who knows the real numbers?

Of course you hear about the number of ‘terrorists’ killed in the latest shootout between American soldiers and Iraqi/Afghan insurgents. It’s funny though. I’ve always thought of people who defend their countries as ‘patriotic’ or ‘brave’ more than as terrorists. I suppose the British who defended themselves during the Battle of Britain during World War II could also be branded as terrorists then? Terrorists are people who run into a crowd and blow themselves up. I would hardly call people who shot down your INVADING helicopter or blew up your INVADING tank in their own country terrorists.

This topic has been beat over the head so many times that this article will merely be another one of the thousands that are seen and ignored. To be honest, I don’t really care who reads this article. I can only feel better that I’ve written what I think about the subject and after all, this is my blog, not yours. ;-) I’m glad to get my thoughts out there even though it’s essentially the same as a thousand others. I’m only worried that I’ve tread on too many peoples’ toes already.

And trust me, I’m not done yet. There are many more articles to follow in the near future on the violence that has befallen this planet.
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Blogger Will wrote at 7/26/2005 9:49 AM

That's a really good way of putting it Charlie....I never really thought of it that wat before. I also agree with you about the "terrorists" that are defending their homes. When you invade a country, someone is going to try to stop you, terrorist or just people trying to defend their homes. I think it's unfair for them all to be lumped together.

Oh, and I wouldn't worry about treading on people's toes. As you said, it is your blog :) What are they going to do, post a mean comment? ;)    



Blogger Charlie wrote at 7/26/2005 11:20 AM

*looks around nervously

Then what are those guys in black suits with the earpieces doing outside my house...    



Anonymous Vlad wrote at 8/01/2005 10:44 AM

I read your post.
i wrote a long reply, but as i kept writing i kept having more and more to say. i deciding that whatever i write won't do justice to what i had in mind. I initally wanted to distinguish between terror and armed conflict (war), and between terror for a physical cause (land, money) and terror for abstract causes (Religion, justice). You seem to have compared shooting down helicopters to blowing us busses, so i figured a disambiguation was due.


anyway, perhaps i'll talk to you one day @ UW and we'll exchange our views on terrorism.

for now, have a great day

Vlad
(dimalife)    



Blogger Charlie wrote at 8/01/2005 11:51 AM

Yes, I do realize that fighting for country isn't the same as 'fighting' for religion, etc. However I feel that the term terrorist or terrorism is used far too broadly to justify many of the things that are happening in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. I do look forward to speaking about the matter as well with you. I'm always up for a good discussion or two. ;)

Anyways, hope you're as excited about Waterloo as I am. It should be good times. :D    



Anonymous vlad wrote at 8/01/2005 3:21 PM

i think what happened is that the term "terrorist" got loosely attached to all those groups fighting the americans in these nations (because the americans went there to fight terrorism ;)), and so some don't bother to make the distinction. None the less, attacks against the military (establishment, people, vehicles) aren't terrorism.

and ah, excited?
so-so, but i'm willing to be surprised.

Vlad
(dimalife)    



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