[Update 2015.11.23: Should anyone be thinking that what I have written below justifies those who use violence to further their righteous causes, no. God is no respecter of persons. Not rich, not poor, not middle-class. Not even you.
What you do to others in your righteous indignation shall return to you, and consume the innocent around you, as well. Stop now, while there is anything left of those you care about.]
There is something that has been bothering me about the war on terror ever since the attacks on the World Trade Center.
I'm going to say some things that some will take to mean that I am not loyal to my country, and some will interpret as sympathizing with the enemy.
So, before you read what follows, read some of my thoughts on conspiracies:
I don't mean to say end there, but what enemy can do you as much damage as you can do to yourself?
Thinking from the point of view of the attacker is an essential principle in analyzing one's own defences.
It has been long enough, can we temporarily set aside the shock and the horror? Can we set aside the righteous indignation and think for a few moments from the point of view of the attackers here?
I think it is essential, for our future safety, whether one is from the USA or from the Sudan. We must learn to think from the point of view of the other guy.
Look up the Camelford water pollution incident. It is not unique. Look up industrial disasters. Think about the things we "technologically advanced" countries do to ourselves. Are we just doing damage to ourselves? Look up the Bhopal incident and think about the number of people killed there.
Now, ask yourself? Could it be that there are people who would rather not have American companies causing industrial development in their towns, cities, mountains, and wildernesses?
Where would they perceive the threats to their peace and happiness and health coming from?
Broaden your perspective a little bit. Consider that, even in America, where discussions of abuse are common in the media, people in abusive relationships often prefer the abuse and the implied stability to changing to a life of unknowns, but free of the abuse.
Can you understand that people in certain countries would consider attempts by westerners to "enlighten" them to be attacks on their culture, traditions, and general well-being and happiness?
How many times have well-intended Americans dropped into supposedly undeveloped countries, spread a bit of money around to make changes for the better, and then left without making sure those changes could be supported and would really end up for the better?
Thinking soberly, it would be a bit unnatural for the the various World Trade Centers around the world not to be considered "strongholds of the enemy" by many of those who don't want to be pushed into the "modern world", or even by many who just want to take their own time and find their own way, getting there.
Is it becoming clearer?
Our assertions of good intent are awfully poor comfort even for our allies in Afghanistan. Our soldiers come in, do their thing, impress people about how strong they are, and then leave.
Impress people about how strong they are. Look at that concept really carefully.
Are we not trying to fight terror with fear?
How is that supposed to work, in the minds and hearts of those we are trying to "liberate" for our own security?
This world never came with a guarantee of peace, tranquility and lack of uncomfortable change.
If we want security, we need to learn to fight a different war. We need to start fighting our own fears.
We need to learn from the people we are trying to inform, even if our purpose in understanding them is to ultimately convert them to our own modernisms.
Better yet, can we re-evaluate our own headlong rush into an untried future? slow the pace down a bit? Make sure we clean up after our industrial activities? Be satisfied with not owning markets and industries?
Can we recognize that we ourselves have often played the 800 pound gorilla on the playground, the bully, and the terrorists?
We accumulate "our" money trashing other people's backyards, can we at least spend a little of that money cleaning up our mess?
Can we leave a little room for the other guy to have a little fun of his own, in his own way?