Water Mosaic echoes from home

pondering the mysteries, simplicity, and humor of life

Friday, July 08, 2005

From the Mouth of Thunder

I'm posting this in order to see what kind of response is generated from my friend's musings. I'm not as politically minded as Thunder is, but he brings in some excellent observations regarding our concept of who the terrorists are and why they take desperate action. Well enough of my ramblings, read on.

How Understanding Dictates Action
Let me first state that what happened in London this morning was awful. Now let me say something about response to it.

George Bush stated that terrorists have evil in their hearts. That to me is a succinct statement about how he understands terrorism. Terrorists are evil, essentially living bogeyman. Terrorism can only be solved by destroying evil, thus the US response to terrorism is largely done through its military.

This seems wrong to me. I don't think terrorists are evil, I think that they are desperate. They have no method of telling the rest of the world to stop what it is doing to them economically and culturally, so they attack to make sure we know they exist and that they are pissed. I don't want to justify it, but I do want to understand it for what it is so that I can respond appropriately.

How should we respond? Peacemaking. We educate, we feed, and we listen to them. We try to understand why they would oppose McCulture infiltrating their way of life. We try to find new ways forward that both liberate oppressed women and preserve the essence of their culture. We stop killing them with free trade and give fair trade a chance. We stop supporting Pakistani and Saudi government that dominate their people. This would be more difficult and require more of us than a military response, but I think it would foster genuine change and an end to terrorism.

Because leaders like Bush postulate a bogeymen rather than a desperate group of people, they cannot understand this kind of approach. Let us hope that their violence doesn't make them more desperate.