The Catch 22 of Terrorism Overly Simplified

Flashing across the media spectrum we typically see scenes and updates from far off places like Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The war on terror continues and we truly want to end this fight. Whether it is leaving the nations to fend for themselves or taking an active role, the debate on how to end the seemingly endless revival of attacks and groups continues to occupy the minds of governments and its citizens.

The process of healing and rebuilding comes from addressing the root problem rather than respond with a barrage of attacks at first glance. We’ve heard this message resonate from passionate leaders like Malala Yousafzai. It’s education and reaching out non violently that has the greatest potential. It may not serve as a short term and quick solution, but it paves the road towards a long standing environment that discourages such aggression.

The catch 22 being the decision to inhibit freedoms for the sake of security (or visa versa) is a central figure in the development and inhibitor of terrorism today. From nations in the Middle East to the Western states, the more radical minded will react to different scenarios, and it is important to find a balance rather than pick one over the other.

Obviously stated, there needs to be a stable society where people have access to basic needs and freedoms. Easier said than done, especially when you look at places like Iraq and Somalia. Hard hit with militant groups, government corruption, and major splits between various groups, these nations face a difficult challenge in reestablishing itself as well formed state.

The lack of stability gives ease and allows these groups to escape to new hideouts. There is no government or military force powerful enough to restrict movements of terrorist groups of large size, and even lone wolves and small organizations have the determination and reasoning to go forth against the state and its people. Again, it’s the lack of the state’s balanced power mixed with education that breaks down the barriers leading to failed states.

There can be all the food and resources in the world given to those in need. There can be endless homes and shelters for refugees and persecuted people, and it still will not completely solve the issue of terrorism. It’s the mindset.

Skeptics and those with strong convictions relay their message of distrust and anger into legitimized verses, calling upon the masses to act out. And when some act is enabled by a person’s faith or life belief without critical thinking or reasoning, it leads to this outcome of violent actions or words.

Simply put: we need strong and stable governments, but not too stable.

The case of over-stability is right in the heart of the ongoing conflict. The Arab Spring has highlighted the growing anger in nations such as Syria, Egypt, and Tunisia where long standing rulers sat comfortably in a system built to last. Rather than allow a living and breathing system to operate where leaders changed and political viewpoints scattered the landscape, these rigid regimes offered the very opposite and often encouraged extremism to manifest.

Groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and Jamaat-e-Islami gained traction as a solution and response to oppressive and often secular regimes persecuting segments of society. Those opposed to regimes, especially the more brutal and unforgiving ones, were labeled as over fanatical, traitorous, and a threat to the balance that the ruler in place had created. The regimes did not simply dismiss opposition groups or place a burden on them, but even went the distance to torture and kill members to discourage future movements and coups.

We’ve seen humans react to violence with violence. While this is not the case for each and every person (as any all encompassing label is impossible to back), it’s been the typical trend for many of these terrorist groups. The government is too powerful, it attacks innocent people and isolates religions and groups, and it is begging to be taken down.

It’s a balance that everyone needs to understand. Enable a flexible yet stabilized government providing basic necessities and a strong encompassing education on all fronts. This has been my mantra I’ve always repeated and emphasized. How can one move forward and make decisions when there is a massive lack of information readily available?

This is nowhere near comprehensive of the entire situation today, with the tug of war between freedoms and security, terrorism and peace. Mainly, it’s a starting point to get more people into the picture, especially those who wish to contribute to a better world.

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