THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR
THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR

Today the world is a terrible place because of terrorism.

Whoever you are, wherever you live and whatever your claims to non violence, peace, religious compliance and spiritual development, you probably kill terrorists with much enjoyment and satisfaction, even relief. You probably do maintain that the only good terrorist is a dead terrorist and you are probably quite smug in this belief.  I do not mean to say that you carry a gun with you to work, shooting at terrorists as you go your way, or that you drive an armored car or fly a bomber. What I do mean is that you vote for governments that state their commitment to the global war on terror and you pay your taxes that finance this global war on terrorism.

But what is the nature of this thing we call terrorism and what is the nature of the war we are engaged in against it?.

Interestingly at the moment there appears to be no internationally accepted definition of what terrorism is. At its simplest level terrorism is described as a policy designed to create fear - as in for instance the principle behind all forms of punishment. All of us have been terrorized by our parents at some point and all of us have at least tried to terrorize our children at some point. At this level terrorism need not involve any overt violence as for instance when mothers threaten their children with abandonment as most mothers at some point do - precipitating levels of separation anxiety that can lead to physiological conditioning that may persist for life, or as when we threaten our children with being consigned to hell if they do what we do not want them to do. Of course there are many of us who also threaten our children with violence and even more of us who do actually beat, that is to say assault, our children This is terrorism at its most basic and fundamental level and we are terrorists when we practice terrorism. We teach our children how to practice terrorism by terrorizing them from a very tender age and as they grow up they tend to take this terrorism and develop it into a fine art, often deploying it at national and international level and of course at some point they begin to terrorize us as well.

Since we are all terrorists we get what we want by terrorizing each other. Husbands terrorize their wives into remaining faithful and obedient and wives do the same to their husbands. They join each other in doing the same to their children. Religions and traditions terrorize us all into conforming to systems of belief, ritual and behavior. The economy terrorizes us into conforming to the requirements of our jobs and the state terrorizes us into behaving in conformity to its doctrine of law and order. At global level we are terrorized into accepting certain principles.

It is also said that terrorism is terror that has as its objective the perpetration of an ideological goal. This seems to be a fact as we can see that we all beat up or threaten to beat up our kids when they fail to live within the tenets of our own ideological outlooks. This is why we hear of honor killings that happen when someone's kid steps out of line and does something that is barred by their parents ideological outlook like for instance marry a person from a different community or ethnic or religious background. It is this ideological component that justified the terror whether it be physical violence of psychological. The terror that the church and other religious institutions strike into the heart of the faithful with the threat of withdrawing their social support network - there will be no one to marry you, baptize your children, visit you when you are sick and bury you when you are dead - strikes up enough terror to keep even hard boiled scientists captive to their belief and ritual.

It is also said that terror targets non combatants. This is very clear. Children are not combatants and all this terror is not directed at armed forces but at us ordinary civilians. We are the ones who were beaten up as kids and are beaten up at work each day and are threatened and cowed into believing rubbish and engaging in meaningless rituals. We are not combatants - though perhaps we should be engaged in combatting this terrorist menace that is ruining our lives. This is what the global war on terrorism is all about. It is about fighting this terror. It is about preventing parents from terrorizing their children, spouses from terrorizing each other, teachers and students terrorizing each other, employers and employees terrorizing each other, the government terrorizing citizens, nations terrorizing each other and then to crown it all there is the task of dealing with those who fight terror with terror leading to new levels of terrorism.

As all those of you who have eyes can see what we are dealing with is a psychological problem which because it has been un addressed and continues to be so, leads us to use terror against each other. Now this is not very helpful since those who are seized by terror are in no position to articulate what they can perceive. What this means is that we are all so scared by this reign of terror that few of us are able to look within us and find what has been born into the world through our lives and to articulate and work towards realizing it. All this creativity, all this humanity is therefore lost because of the terror we are subjected to and the world is poorer for it. This is why this terror, this governance by terror, has to be addressed and changed. This is why we must all join the global war against terror.

How do we fight terror? Do children pick up weapons and fight their parents? Do we carry weapons around with us and shoot everyone who tries to terrorize us? It may indeed come to this if we do not take the time and trouble to come up with effective ways of responding to and dealing with this reign of terror that we are subjected to.

As I pointed out before this is a psychological phenomena. My position is that it therefore has to be dealt with at a psychological level. It has to start with human individuals. It has to star with me not with you. I have to stop being a terrorist. More and more of us have to learn how to stop being terrorists and stop terrorizing those we love and interact with. This is the only way to go. To try to fight terrorism in any other way will only lead us to become terrorists ourselves.

But then, how do I stop being a terrorist?.

I will try to explain how this can be done in an article that will follow shortly.


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