Awkward “By Accident” Rant about Terrorism

So before I even get started writing what I want to write, I want to apologize. It has been quite a few weeks (even a month in there, I imagine) since I’ve taken the time to write this. While I know there are few to none readers, it still makes me feel guilty that I have not done what I said I would do.


I’m going to try to fix it. “I’m going to change” sounded a bit too much like a relationship plea no matter how much I wanted to say it.


To ease back in, I’m not going to write fiction today – I’m going to write about anything really. You don’t have to read it obviously, it’s not really for an audience – it’s more for me. You see, I want to remind myself why I love writing so much, whether it’s about International Relations (which I adore) or the fiction I delve into.

I’ll stop here; give you a second to think about what utter nonsense you’ll probably fall upon after clicking the “read more” button. But off we go.

I’m a very phase-oriented person. I go through phases of writing, of reading, of newspapers and books – but the one thing I’ve always found troubling is that I can never really stick with something. So my attempt with this, whatever it is, is to try and see sense.

It’s hard to say where to start, what I want to write about, or what I think I should write about. But for the moment, I’ll just begin with what I was reading not ten minutes ago – a nice little article about the “one-eyed sheikh”.

He’s a textbook villain, as long as you think of fairy tales as starting after the 1950s, where conventional war went out the window and guerrilla took its place. I took guerrilla warfare last semester for school, so as you can imagine – I’m a little bit on the obsessive side when it comes to finding anything related to my favorite niche subject of security.

So this was a treat. And although it was short, and although I was utterly disgusted about what this man (I hesitate to call him even that) had done, there is something so magnetic about horror. I’m not really sure how to describe it. It is not so much that I enjoy the horror itself passing, but rather that reading about it and trying to understand it are an opportunity to really think.

That probably doesn’t make much sense. Even to me, knowing that I fully acknowledge enjoying reading about awful things is slightly disturbing. But it’s true. I speculate rampantly. I research furiously. And above all, I rave ferociously. Not of course, where anyone could read it – but all the same, it’s a trend I follow rather strictly.

Unfortunately, I can’t link to the article as it’s a “Times Plus”, but just research Mokhtar Belmokhtar and you’ll see what I mean. Whether it’s the outrage I feel about his casual use of weaponry, his waste of perfectly good human lives, I’m not really sure. But there is something about terrorism in general that makes me so unconsciously violent that I have to calm myself down.

Of course I see that for political terrorism, there are reasons for why these people commit heinous acts, I understand that for environmental terrorism or really, any rational kind of terrorism – there is a backstory. And on occasion, you do feel bad for a moment. But for people who commit these acts just to get their names in the paper or that they do it purely to attack “The West” – it’s just infuriating.

No, we all don’t think we’re better than you. We don’t all righteously prance around on a bald eagle shouting American virtues and stomp on rights of all other countries. If anyone in their right mind thinks that, then arrogance and ignorance are surely the kindest words I could use to describe you.

No. Terrorism isn’t a good thing. There are causes that need to be talked about, there are things that are so wrong with this world that people need to be told – but violence just makes things worse and worse.

(Interlude for a moment: I’m sorry this turned into a political rant)

The problem with terrorism is the response. I’ve read my fair share of literature of security against terrorism, and I can’t help but wonder if anyone who can actually change anything has? People on the Internet shout about “killing the god-damn terrorists” and politicians drone on about “measures to protect the citizens of the USA”, but no one really does anything.

Surprise to trolls on Internet forums – you can’t have it both ways that the US needs to stop interfering in countries AND kill terrorists. Sorry politicians, you can’t always appease the people who line your pockets and your constituents. It doesn’t work both ways.

Right. Back to terrorism. Of course we cannot respond, “take the high road”, and admittedly when it comes to political terrorism – that’s an understandable path of action. We cannot get involved in an escalating conflict if we do not engage. But for religious terrorism, there’s a bit larger of a problem.

How do you reason with someone who sees you as an obstacle in the pathway of the rise of Islam?

Beats me.

Let’s try again.

The problem is terrorism is that each and every person has a different way to respond, whether that be reducing our rights or going all out in force, but cooperation doesn’t seem to work. Can we not work together to make something that is cyber-secure but that does not take away the core ideas of what it is to be “free of search and seizure”?

I’m sure, given the chance, we could. It’s just a matter of getting the right people together – get them talking  – and watch what happens.

I’m not saying it’s going to happen soon, or that it will happen at all. But I know plenty of people in Model UN that would gladly take up the mantel of negotiators (and let me tell you… they’re pretty good). Who knows, perhaps this is me figuring out that I want to be a negotiator.

The point, though, is that there are multiple ways of finding a solution to the problem that has been hampering the world’s growth for far too long. Taking the right steps and the correct actions will speak louder than words.

(I am awkwardly implicating myself, as I have done nothing to work towards this… we’ll see after graduate school)

Now that’s done. I’m sorry this turned into, gosh, whatever it is. Hopefully you won’t get furiously angry and write nasty comments – but feel free to do so if you wish.

Perhaps this will be the spark to push me back into writing!

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