Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Terrorism -- Do We Ever Really Live and Learn?

Hey all,

I know this is a heavy subject, but living over here, we seem to hear much more about it than we used to in the states.  In the five months we've lived in Asia, we've seen attacks in Malaysia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia.  And that's only on this side of the world.

It doesn't seem to matter where or what it's about, terrorism seems to be the most popular way to get your point across even if it does wind up killing a lot of innocent people to do it.  And that's just cowardly.

We all have issues.  I've got reams of them.  But just because I may disagree with how my neighborhood Walmart prices their meat, doesn't mean I'm going to blow up the deli area of the store.  

I guess that what bothers me so much.  Some of the reasons for these terrorism attacks seem just as arbitrary and ridiculous as me taking out the meat counter at the Big W.  And sometimes we don't even get a reason at all.  That's even worse.  All that death but no explanation given.

And worse still yet is when someone we trust, someone we have put in a position of authority betrays that trust and becomes a terrorist themselves.

Case in point is the August 2010 bus hijacking of Hong Kong tourists that ended up with eight of those tourists being dead.  The hijacker was a disgruntled policeman who wanted his job back.  There goes the trust.  But what made it even worse was his ex fellow cops bungled the hostage crisis so badly, they were the ones that caused the deaths of all the people and almost brought two nations to war.  Both the hijacker and the authorities are people you're supposed to be able to trust, but instead they wound up killing innocent people.

The hijacker resorted to terrorism to try and force his employers to give him his job back.  A far cry from sending a pleading letter or even threatening to sue for an illegal firing.  Seems like a lot of people don't try to solve their problems the right way before they go to the extreme.

But are these types of terrorists any different than those who kill in the name of their God or country?  Does scaring people really work?  You've made your point, but so what?  Did 190 people dying in Mumbai change anything except make everyone hate terrorists even more?  Do suicide bombers blowing themselves and others up, really do anything positive for the cause? Yes, we may be more aware of them, but other than that...I've never really understood why they do the things they do.

Our world has changed so much it's frightening.  A simple vacation now has to be vetted on whether it's even safe to travel there.  Jonathon and I know that from experience.  We didn't go to Bangkok last year because of the unrest there with the red shirts.  And we wouldn't travel in certain parts of Asia now because it's not safe.

And if you've read my newsletter, you'll know why I don't want to travel in China.

Anyway, terrorism used to be something we heard only once in a while.  But now, it's almost an every day occurrence.  It's become such a part of our lives our kids are even taught how to identify the signs in grammar school.  Grammar school!!!!  And we were worried about sex education?

I'll be back on Friday with a guest blogger-- Cynthia Vespia.  So make sure you check out the blog for that great post as well.

Hugs,

CJ England









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16 comments:

flchen1 said...

*sigh* Great column, CJ--thank you for the reminder today! It's heartbreaking to consider how many parts of the world are unsafe because people feel the need to convert others to their way of thinking.

Jude Mason said...

Hi CJ. This one touches very close to home for me. My daughter and her fella are going to Mexico soon and I'm filled with all kinds of worries. I know they've researched the area. I know they'll be as safe as they possibly can be. But...I'm terrified something horrible will happen.

Not too long ago, I truly believed that people were people no matter where you went. They wanted primarily the same things: a loving relationship, a roof over their heads, enough to eat, education...the usual thing. Now, I don't know if that's true. I hope it is. I pray it is.

When did the world become such a hateful place?

Hugs

CJ England said...

Thanks, flchen1,

I agree. It hurts to see all the crazies sometimes. And living over here I see ones I wasn't even aware existed. That's the scary part.

CJ England said...

Jude,

I totally understand. My boys are coming to visit if February and I worry about them getting here. Even though we have them going through "safe" territory, the idea scares me to death.

I'll keep yours in my prayers as I do my own.

Ray said...

Terrorism has been around as long as there have been people. It is just that some places used to be relatively safe. I never thought of school shootings or anything more dangerous than a schoolyard fist fight when I was growing up. Then on 2 February 1996 (34 years after I left to join the Navy) a student brought a high powered rifle to school and killed two students and a teacher and wounded another student. A teacher who was also injured finally took the weapon away from the kid. It was small by recent standards, but it did get mentioned in a book written by Lisa Gardner several years ago.

To avoid this being too long I will tell my Hong Kong story in another comment.

Ray

Ray said...

In 1967 I met a woman in a bar and spent the night at her home. We spent the night talking. I couldn't go back to the ship as there was a curfew for Navy personnel. We could stay out all night, but could not be on the streets after curfew. The woman was more paranoid than anyone I have ever been with. She had been on of the most famous movie actresses in Hong Kong until there was series of Communist demonstrations.
At the time if you walked by a police station you would be followed by a machine gun until you were out of range. The police came into a shoe store where a friend of mine was buying shoes. A cop came in, grabbed a shoe box, threw it in the alley and it exploded. A bomb scare was called into a movie theater. A bomb went off near the crowd who exited the theater. No one hurt, but...
The woman had previously lived in Kowloon. She took the ferry home one night. She got into a taxi who took her in the wrong direction and scared her so she got out of the car when he slowed down enough she could. Her brother was an anti Communist radio announcer. On his way home there was a detour sign. He took the detour only to have a fire bomb thrown into his car. After his death she moved in with her mother in an apartment in the Wanshai District. She went to work sitting with customers in HK's version of the Crazy Horse Saloon. While we talked she popped Secobarbital one after another all night and could not even get drowsy.

Now terrorism is just about world wide. If it isn't terrorism it is street crime. There was a burglary directly across the street from my house last year. Every day crime seems to be more ubiquitous.

Ray

Fairie said...

People do need to be reminded of the insanity. Where I live we too just had an act of terrorism. A little 9 year old girl Christina and 5 others were killed and 13 injured Saturday in a shooting rampage as a crowd waited to meet Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head and left gravely wounded. All this happened at a neighborhood Shopping center. People get upset if you have to go thru security to board a flight, but how would you feel if you put a family member on a plane just to watch it explode. Times as we knew them are gone, sadly, and in it's place is very scary. I live on a boarder state to Mexico, the drug cartel is taking over there. Jude I know your fear, I won't go near the boarder. Ok sorry about the rant but it saddens me to think that is is the world I am leaving my grandchildren to.

CJ England said...

Ray,

Shootings at schools are beyond frightening. I'll never comprehend why a child can be so troubled.

CJ England said...

Ray,

Jonathon said much of the same thing when he was in Asia in the Navy and he was over there later than you.

We are so insular in our thinking, it wasn't until we came over here that we realized how wide spread it was.

In our arrogance, we'd thought it was only westerners that were affected. We've learned differently.

CJ England said...

Fairie,

OMG...I've been reading about that. It's so horrible. One man's anger spills out in such a terrible way. Killing innocents without any thought at all.

I can't imagine what you must be going through. My prayers to you and yours and for the community at large.

Celtic Chick said...

Here in the U.S. I'm worried more about homegrown terrorists than terrorists from another country. There are a lot of people here that hate the government. Scary.

And I live in AZ among a lot of scary gun-crazy people who are racist. No offense to people who own guns. Not all of them are nuts.

Where is John Lennon when you need him? We need another like him.

CJ England said...

CC,

I think that's what so scary. It used to feel safe here. Now, you never know what might happen in our own homes. And that's really scary.

Zahn said...

Hi Mister... read about ur post ..having terror attacks in Singapore?? Didn't have such happenings here so please state your facts right... Singapore is a very safe country. Crimes are normal every where but the crime rate here is low. Some true facts that happened recently in singapore here are youths involving in gang fights but that happened during school holidays.. (kids having nothing better to do).. Peace!

CJ England said...

Hi Zahn,

And I'm a Mrs, not a Mr. LOL

But while I agree, Singapore is one of the safest countries I've traveled to, when we were living there an episode happened at one of the newest properties. It was a small one and handled quickly, but my husband was part of it, so that's why I know of it.

Terrorism can happen anywhere, even in Singapore.

Phylis said...

I have never been able to fathom the causing of pain or death to get a view point across. It just doesn't make sense in my head. There is talk of letting teachers being able to take guns to school. Just what good would that do? We talked about this at work. All someone has to do is attack the teacher and wrestle the gun away. Let alone if the teacher is the one to go nuts. *sigh* It's a very scary world anymore.

CJ England said...

Phylis,

Guns used by teachers? Seriously? How to make an accident happen. I hope they're smart enough to knock that one down.