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    Thursday, July 21, 2005

    More London Bombings

    I posted the other day about Muslims taking responsibility for terror acts, and now this. It looks like more terrorists, whether idiot kids trying to be copycats or a semi-structured ring of professional terrorists has yet again bombed London.

    This time London was lucky. Fox reports that the intent of the bombs was to kill just like two weeks ago, but some bombs did not explode. CNN reports that the failed explosions have given London police significant leads in the investigation. The BBC has an interesting video of some eyewitness accounts.

    Here's my (not so) quick thought: How do you put out a fire?? Does it matter if you spray the tops of the flames with water?? What about digging up the earth around it?? Well, the latter will contain the fire, but not put it out. The former is pointless. The only way to put out a fire is to spray water at its base.

    The terror we live in today is a significantly larger and more frightening fire than a typical fire in the bar-b-que pit. Where does all the hot-headed action and vindicative rhetoric stem from?? Today's policy makers keep preaching protecting ourselves. Some vocal minority in America place the blame on our actions, our existence (Ward Churchill), in inciting the terrorists to act. Today I'm not so sure.

    I think America's existence and presence in areas the terrorists dissagree with (Iraq, etc.) is the charcoal, maybe the lighter fluid--the fuel of the fire--but not what starts it. People who want to be incensed can find numerous reasons to justify taking human life in this diverse, imperfect, and sometimes illogical world. The fire is started by the radical clerics that preach hate. Most Muslims, all the muslims I know, disagree totally with this doctrine of hate. They are good, peace-loving people, who come from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Jerusalem, Saudi Arabia, etc. They worship Allah faithfully and do not find it in their faith to commit terrorist acts on people of any nationality, race, or creed.

    However, these radical clerics, entrenched in some parts of Britain, France, and the middle east, convert people into murderers through their hateful preaching. Although they may not directly instruct someone how to build a bomb, their message of hatred and intolerance becomes the impetus for murder and the ideological shield terrorists use to justify their actions.

    If we, and probably more effectively, the Muslim community in areas around radical clerics, focused on neutering their speech, convincing people not to listen to them, or stopped them from speaking, we stop this culture of terror and start to build a culture of rational, peaceful deliberations. No, people don't need to always agree. We see the world through different paradigms, but we can discuss and resolve our differences without senseless bloodshed.

    I call upon the people living around radical clerics to stand up like the people of Pakistan against terror, but speak out directly against the inciting radical clerics that cause this fire. This method will lead to the quickest ending of the terror phenomenon that the world now endures.

    ADDENDUM:On idealism, truthfully, I think of myself as a realist. However, I am reminded of a Native American proverb that says "If you aim for the sky you hit the eagle, but if you aim for the eagle, your arrow falls to the ground." Only through identifying and striving toward the ideal can we achieve our dreams. Aiming for something less insures that we will never reach perfection.

    Also, a coworker seemed to agree with my point yet then argued (myopically) that she can understand the rationale behind the terrorists, and therefore America needs to stop its unilateral backing of Israel and its actions in the middle east. Although she says she doesn't support terrorism, this view validates their activities. There is no excuse for deciding to bomb innocent civilians--regardless of perceived wrongs endured. Validating terrorist excuses just gives credence to their bloodthirsty views. Western leaders refuse to cow to terrorism, of course, because nobody would pick up charcoal from the middle of a fire. We must put out the fire first, build an environment of rational discussion by muting radical clerics, and then we can focus on removing the proverbial charcoal and lighter fluid caused by America's sometimes questionable foreign policies.

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