Wednesday, May 28, 2014

anti-terrorism funding

Lord knows there is ample evidence of self-serving, violence-prone individuals and groups (and probably governments) in the world, but it is hard not to cringe at U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's announcement that his country is setting up a $5 billion "terrorism partnership fund" to help other countries push back against "radical extremists."

What is cringe-worthy in my book is the vagueness of the mission statement. It sounds reasonable and worthy. It sounds as if it will help preserve social and political stability. But it also sounds like an initiative in which those who have the wherewithal to think things through would prefer to suppress any agency that challenges the status quo.

Who, precisely, defines the "terrorist" and in what way? The word "terrorist" has increasingly come to mean anyone who disagrees or finds some fault with governing bodies which hope to preserve their power and, equally if not more important, an income stream. If all the 'haves' get together and suppress the 'have-not's', well, is that diplomatic or thoughtful, or is it simply self-serving and, often, dictatorial?

"Terrorists" are usually people who want something and want it badly enough to raise an often-bloody hell. For those with the wherewithal, isn't it worth finding out what the "terrorists" want -- honestly find out -- and assess and possibly redress the circumstances the "terrorists" find oppressive? Maybe, for example, the Palestinians have good reason and plenty of provocation when it comes to treatment by Israel. Not that they're angels or that Israel shouldn't defend itself, but calling the Palestinians "terrorists" while the Israelis are let off the hook seems a bit of a stretch.

Is there a government anywhere in the world that hasn't glommed onto the word "terrorist" in the wake of the demolition of the World Trade Towers in 2001? Terrorists are not just people who do something but even, by Department of Homeland Security standards, those who think or discuss ... and the same is true elsewhere: If you don't agree with me, you are a terrorist and I've got $5 billion and a lot more besides to shut you down.

When it comes to action, I vote with the assessment of the Somali security officer who once observed of the pirates off his coast that the underlying situation boiled down to, "If you do not share your wealth with us, we will share our poverty with you." It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand the equation, but those with the wherewithal and the college educations to maintain it, seem unwilling to bring their civilization to a civilized discussion space.

I guess it's easier to adopt a terrorist stance and just kill the assholes.

1 comment:

  1. Bribing people who are happy to take the money and resume business as usual. Not the stupidest thing we've done, just another in the string of human foibles.