The world is a tinderbox ready to ignite. It’s leaning over the edge of a deep precipice, and it’s also holding a gun to its head. The world is doing all it can to destroy itself and everyone in it. On one side, we’re witnessing the most powerful nation on earth poised to elect someone who enjoys torture, wants to build a giant wall, and who openly advocates violence against other races. And on the other side, bombs are going off every day killing innocent civilians, while whole communities are being lined up and executed. This isn’t what the world is supposed to be like. Our children shouldn’t be brought up in a place like this.
When Paris was attacked in November, governments around the globe acted to increase air-strikes in the Middle East. You can bet there are discussions going on right now too on the best course of retaliation for Brussels. Sad to say, but even now in 2016, our first thought when struck is to strike back. Harder, faster, deadlier. Human lives are expendable when it comes to vengeance.
When you look at the people involved in these recent attacks, from Paris to Istanbul to Brussels, you’ll find that all perpetrators age roughly from 20 – 33. They are part of a growing number of disaffected youths who feel the need to channel their anger into violence. But this isn’t just symptomatic of religious animosity, it’s also showing where a large portion of people turn when times are tough.
Yes, this modern world of ours has many, many benefits. We can listen to any music we like at the touch of a button, watch a football match from any league in the world, splurge out on pints at the weekend.
But we are also living in a time when mental health has never been such a huge issue. School shootings have become part-and parcel of American society, suicide rates are shocking here in Ireland, downtrodden kids in Latin America pick up a gun and join a gang. So, what do young Muslims do when the world gets too much? Are we starting to see where the more radicalised of them are forced to turn?
The past year has fanned the flames of hatred no end. From Pegida marches throughout Europe, raving loonies in the US, to raving loonies in the UK, there is increasing vitriol being smeared across our little planet. There is a growing disconnect between groups of people, and it’s very worrying.
We’ve been watching Western nations lay waste to vast swathes of land in the Middle East for a long time. Since the mid-80’s, America and her allies have been consistently at war in an Islamic nation. Perhaps here, in the comfort of Irish life, we forget that bombs are going off every day in the Middle East. For many people, ISIS and its deranged beliefs are the only thing offering salvation. And when you’re in, just like a cult, there’s no getting out. We can never understand what it’s like to have our homes constantly under threat, to see familiar surroundings get blown sky high, or to see foreign soldiers order us around every day. Obviously these are no excuse for killing innocent people going about their normal lives, but we must realise that these acts are acts of retaliation. And in turn, there will be more retaliatory strikes on the enemy. It’s a vicious circle, and one that needs to end now. You don’t fight fire with fire – you fight fire with water.
Make no mistake, unless people mobilise and force governments to change their ways, we will be seeing a lot more deaths across the world. We are living in the first generation of a US-occupied Middle East and the horrific attacks of recent months will only become more prevalent. The current refugee crisis affects us all, and the people who rally against immigration are doing much more harm than good. As humans, we should be welcoming diversity and culture into our land. People from other nations give us a chance to grow, to give us new ideas, and to let us experience new ways of life.
We’ve tried doing the whole ‘war’ thing. We’ve been trying it ever since the dawn of Man. It doesn’t work. As the human species evolves, moving swiftly into the future, there needs to be a fundamental change in our attitudes to war and peace. We’re very quick to label ourselves as ‘leaders of the free world’, but with a few acts of terror, particularly on Paris and Brussels, ISIS has forced the West to degrade itself to their level. Now more than ever, world leaders to devise a new strategy. A modern one where guns are not the answer, and harmony is the ultimate goal. Instead of bombs, let’s make peace our weapon in the fight against terror.
An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind after all.