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Saturday, November 14, 2015

Trying to make sense out of the senseless

I'm going to do something I generally don't do, I'm going to get topical and perhaps a touch political. These are usually taboo, because first it's nobody's business about what I believe and second, what I think doesn't matter. What you think is all that should matter to you, anything else is just seeking validation. To quote Terry Cole Whittaker, "what you think of my is none of my business."

With that out of the way. I need to purge. It's a good morning for that as the world and especially, France, deals with a new terrorist attack. If you haven't heard, just turn on any news station. I'm a writer not a reporter.

First, to give some context I was a soldier in the US Army. My unit participated in Operation Desert Storm and has been deployed several times to the Gulf. I was incredibly fortunate to not have been deployed. It was very close, but by the time we received our desert training at Fort Devens, in the snow, the ground war was over. We remained rear support, and sent contact teams over to Saudi Arabia. We had an important job and we did it to the best of our ability. I'm very proud of my time in the military. I understand how different it could have been. I am lucky beyond measure.

Here's the thing. I was a trained soldier and was ready to face a known enemy. Terrorism doesn't work that way. The only hope in stopping it once a plan is in place is to discover actionable intelligence. Then it's law enforcement's job to figure out what's about to happen and stop it. If they don't, we have the attack. Some famous misses are the attacks on the USS Cole, the embassy bombing in Beirut, 9/11 and today in Paris. We're shocked and angry about all of these things. What we should also be angry at are the attacks that happen in Israel, Jordan, Syria, Iraq and more and more. It's a real problem. These are real people being maimed and killed.

This isn't meant o scare anyone, but here's something I found doing a google search. It's an impact map that shows the areas most a risk for attack. Makes me want to think about changing my vacation plans.

People are being trained, probably not unlike I was to use their bodies as a weapon to destroy and enemy, the difference being, I was trained to face an enemy force, they're targeting civilians, the people we swore to protect. We swore to sacrifice ourselves for the greater good. Terrorist sacrifice themselves to spread fear. I get it, I truly do. They have no voice, no one to listen, so their reaction is to take a hard line, turn to the extreme in their belief system to find comfort, to find righteousness and lash out in hate. You know what? here's the interesting part is I (we) have people that hate us that we've never met, never had a conversation, or shared a meal, shook a hand, or even nodded to each other in the street in passing. How fucked up is that? I had no more control over the circumstances of my birth than anyone. Granted our cultures differ, the places we came to understand as we grew are different, our languages vary, sometimes it's hard to understand one another...or is it? I know when someone is in pain, or feeling joy, depression, anger, love, indifference, these are not hard concepts to understand in one another. Hell, I understand these things in my dogs.

I'm asking the same question that everyone else is asking, why?

I don't expect an answer, but it's not stopping me from asking the question.

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