Killing Children is Always Terrorism

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HISTORICAL HYPOCRACY-Could somebody explain to me why the senseless unprovoked attack by one person (Salman Abidi) on an audience that included mainly innocent children at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England is designated as terrorism -- while ongoing government-sanctioned senseless unprovoked attacks on innocent children in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and elsewhere are not considered terrorism, but rather, "collateral damage?” 

 

I have no desire to defend either form of terrorism, but would argue that the same ancient tribal form of dehumanization and stereotyping of "the other" is occurring on both sides. It is ironic that the core values that are ironically shared by the three Abrahamic religions – especially, the commandment "Thou shall not kill" – are being utterly rejected. If possible, see if you can come up with any objective standard for determining how we could logically differentiate between the terrorism practiced on each side, unless we revert to the irrational, racist, and culturally chauvinistic blaming of "the other" who are prejudged as guilty just for the crime of being "the other.” 

  1. After the attack in Manchester at the Ariana Grande concert, President Trump described those attacked and killed as "so many young and beautiful people." Did Trump or anyone else ever describe the innocents we incessantly bomb in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere as "so many young and beautiful people?" Why not? 
  1. If your innocent family or a good portion of it was senselessly destroyed, might the response to such irrational violence be more irrational violence, even if that only mirrors the terrorism that you find so enraging? 
  1. Each side justifies its own respective fanaticism by depicting the other as having corrupted its respective core values. Does the American press ever deal with anti-democratic regimes such as the one in Saudi Arabia, showing how our putative democracy seems to unquestioningly support it without mentioning the anti-democratic reality that people living under that regime are forced to live with? 
  1. What is the difference between this and events like Europe’s Thirty Years War (1618-1648) that took the life of 3 million to 11.5 million Christians for the sole "crime" of being Catholic or Protestant? Is that incidence of internecine warfare any different from the present endless war between Sunni and Shiites that decimates what is necessary for peaceful development? 

As humanity again seems headed toward a precipice of even greater magnitude than those in the past, the words of Jesus the Prince of Peace present an even more prescient, insightful view of the human condition on earth: "My kingdom is not of this world." This message coming from any enlightened, and dare I say messiah, still seems to be steadfastly ignored by those of all faiths who still have the chutzpah to call themselves believers.

 

(Leonard Isenberg is a Los Angeles observer and a contributor to CityWatch. He was a second generation teacher at LAUSD and blogs at perdaily.com. Leonard can be reached at Lenny@perdaily.com) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.

-cw

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