I find it interesting to hear people speak of the wealth of the West
as a cause, even a justification for the acts of terrorism that
continue to happen, one should surely look at the spread of wealth
in the Middle East as well before blindly saying wealth in the West
is the root cause for the worlds troubles.
The oil sheiks are among the wealthiest people in the world and
they ride roughshod over some of the poorest people in the world,
before we assume the blame for the worlds troubles and proclaim
the wealth in the West should be used to stave of poverty and
need, the old adage of charity begins at home should be looked at.
There is poverty at some level in every country on earth, the
Middle East does not have sole rights on it, and surely some of
the vast oil wealth that is generated there should be put to use
in solving their problems too, instead there is a culture that points
to the West, America in particular, and blames all the worlds
problems on them.
No country has accumulated more wealth than
same basis, no country has anything approaching the foreign aid
I am not very highly versed in the laws of Islam, but my
understanding is that their ideas of recruitment don’t stop short
of annihilation of any who don’t follow their views; this is a huge
step beyond espousing any other religions views of, “true
redemption lies only with us.”
When the beliefs of a people are being fuelled by that sort of
notion and the leaders, who are in the main, dictators rather
that leaders, are urging their downtrodden masses to acts of
aggression against Westerners and promising a place in heaven
for the aggressors.
I would like to include an extract from a true story of the
ongoing training within the
the author, Rick Mathes, is a well known leader in prison ministry,
his questions were to an Islamic Imam, who had given a
presentation on the basics of Islam
"Please, correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that most
Imams and clerics of Islam have declared a holy jihad [Holy war]
against the infidels of the world. And, that by killing an infidel,
which is a command to all Muslims, they are assured of a place
in heaven. If that's the case, can you give me the definition of
There was no disagreement with my statements and, without
hesitation, he replied, "Non-believers!"
I responded, "So, let me make sure I have this straight. All
followers of Allah have been commanded to kill everyone who is
not of your faith so they can go to Heaven. Is that correct?"
The expression on his face changed from one of authority and
command to that of a little boy who had just gotten caught
with his hand in the cookie jar. He sheepishly replied, "Yes."
I then stated, "Well, sir, I have a real problem trying to
imagine the Pope commanding all Catholics to kill those of
your faith or a Protestant leader ordering Protestants to do the
same in order to go to Heaven!"
The Imam was speechless.
Now I did not attend this session nor can I vouch for its authenticity.
such as described there is little that anyone else on earth can do
that will change the situation we are now in, and this includes
solving the poverty situation.
I was prompted to write this by a very thoughtful article my son
Marcus wrote for his blog Holt Press, he has sanctioned my
reprinting of this article, thanks Marcus.
I was teaching a drug education course to parents the night of
9/11. Carolyn rang me to tell me what had happened and I
stood there dumbfounded trying to comprehend it.
I watched the live TV feed from the
the drama unfolded and was repeated over and over. The scenes
were horrifying, compelling, amazing and shocking.
It was hard to believe it had happened. It's still hard to believe
it. Seeing the planes hit still makes me shudder. Seeing the
towers crumbling is still mind blowing.
The anniversary has passed fairly quietly here, not a lot of
discussion or comment from people on the street.
The footy finals and Peter Brock's death raised more interest.
There have been movies and documentaries on TV but they
haven't exactly been riveting television.
The real question is what have we learned from and since
I don't have answers, or even much in the way of suggestions,
but I do have a couple of opinions.
The first is that the war on terror is an unwinnable war. In fact
it is completely counter-productive.
Every "terrorist" the
take their place.
There are suicide bombings and attacks throughout the middle
The world is not safer, it is clearly more dangerous.
A bus ride or a family holiday have become fraught with risk.
The war on terror can't be won so long as it's fought with
conventional weapons and tactics.
The war can only be won when we recognize the cause and
reasons for the terrorism in the first place and address those.
There is incredible injustice in the world.
There is a complete imbalance of wealth, resources and power
concentrated in the west and hardship, disease, lack of basic
human needs like clean water, medicine and food in places all
over the world.
The west exploits the rest of the world and its resources for
our own comfort and pleasure, growing richer and fatter while
the world grows poorer.
Unless we address and respond to these basic needs, there
will always be resentment, anger and violence towards the west.
Without the will to change the world, the world will continue to
suffer and people will die at the hands of terrorists.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not sticking up for terrorists or
justifying their actions, but it is hardly surprising that there is
huge resentment when we truly acknowledge the imbalances
in the world.
In response to 9/11 the
other places, invaded
I didn't pose this suggestion but I'd love to see what would
happen if it were taken up.
Someone asked in the early stages when the military response
was just cranking up, "What if we just dropped money on
It's an interesting question!
The irony is, it would have been cheaper!!
There have been heinous crimes committed and people should
be brought to justice, but it is naivety to think that all the
wrongs have been perpetrated by the "terrorists" and
"Muslims" and "Arabs" and "foreigners".
The west has blood on its hands too.
There is no innocent party, there has been wrong committed
on both sides.
The answer is not more bombs bullets and missiles.
The answer surely lies in a different direction, where support,
understanding, cooperation, mutual assistance, sharing of
resources, peace making are the key strategies, not protecting
oil, resources and vested interests.
Sure as eggs, money is the number one driving force behind
most decisions made and actions taken.
It's certainly not the sanctity of human life, the pursuit of
goodness and a fair and just world for ALL.
The reality is we place way more value on a western life or
death than we do on an eastern one.
Don't believe me? Check the TV hours/newspaper footage
devoted to one western life compared to an African or a
Russian or a Palestinian or a ... I don't have the answers,
but I know what we're currently doing is not working and will
The anger resentment and hatred towards the
Some where in this crazy mess we have to call a time-out and
honestly ask whether we're headed in the right direction, and
if we're not, what are we going to do about it.
I feel sad for the 3000 Americans who died on Sep 11. I feel
sad for their families.
But, they are not the most important or only people to have
died in this "war" and the way it's being fought, they certainly
won't be the last.
As a footnote I think it is worth noting here that the combiation of factors:
Money, Oil, Fear, Revenge, all figured in the way events have taken place.