Divided We Fall
In the wake of the horrible attacks on Paris there is a lot of sadness, fear, despair and anger going around the world. People are justifiably shaken and horrified at the meaningless carnage. France considers itself at war and promises to keep bombing Syria. President Obama has offered support for France intimating that he also includes potential military support.
Were these attacks unjustified and revolting? Yes. Is there a part of our hearts that cries out for vengeance, retribution, a balancing of the karmic scales? Of course.
But in the long run, what we would all fervently desire more than anything else is an end to these terrorist attacks. So how do we accomplish this? through more concerted attacks of our own? Wiping the enemy (if we can decide exactly who they all are) from the face of the earth? No. That may sound satisfying in the moment; but escalation doesn't work. It never has and never will.
So what is the answer then? Michael says that you cannot conquer hate with hate, you can only conquer hate with love. But what does that mean in this context? Mercy for terrorists because they have mothers too? No.
Love, in this context, means undermining the lifestyle that leads people to the extremes of suicide bombing. That can only be done in the long run by providing infrastructure: protection, water, shelter, food, basic health services, education, and sexual equality to the children of the nations these terrorists spring from. These children are innocent, like all children.
If they are raised to be repressed by fundamentalist sects, kept from any reliable news sources, starved, uneducated, orphaned and attacked by continuous warfare, with their mothers treated little better than slaves; how can we expect that they will behave rationally when manipulative leaders tell them that we or the French or whomever else is the source of their pain?
This is a long term solution to a long term problem. It cannot be implemented overnight. Meanwhile, vengeance will rule because that's just how evolved we are as a species right now. But once retributions have occurred and tempers have cooled somewhat, perhaps we can begin to understand that hate always and forever breeds hate....and begin the path to a more permanent solution.