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These Days: Tuesday, May 23rd 2017

Terrorism: The correct response to terror is horror, not terror. In the aftermath of the attack at an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena last night, killing 22 innocent victims, that’s a hard thing to see. I took my 14 year old Great Niece to see Ariana Grande at Madison Square Garden in February. That could have been her. And Manchester is my home town though fortunately I have no Grande friends in my family. I’ve lived in three cities in my life: New York, Beirut, and Manchester, England -and they’ve all been attacked by terrorists.

Unfortunately, death by terrorism is a numbers game and  unless you are one two degrees of separation or less your pain is more theoretical.  To put these 22 deaths in perspective:

In The UK:

1,400 people die every day

6 children die every day.

5  people die in car crashes every day.

To make a point: during WWII over 60 million people were killed, which was about 3% of the 1940 world population (est. 2.3 billion).

I am not trying to belittle the horror here: young girls screaming and running for their lives in the center of Manchester, England, is something you never ever want to see and while absolutely agreeing that  it is horrible and for the victims and  for their friends and families something much worse than that, for us the only question is how the hell did a bomb get to the foyer of the Manchester Arena.? It could have never gotten into MSG or Barclays. Never. Impossible.

But what could happen at MSG is a lone wolf could blow himself up as people are leaving a concert and nothing can change that and anybody who says it can is lying -the downside to protecting against just such an eventuality is too down. What, you can’t carry a suitcase in public? Look, if somebody wants to kill you and doesn’t care if they die in the process you can not be protected. You are dead. That’s all. Plus, nature abhors a vacuum so if you think beating ISIS will end terrorism, it won’t for a moment. Being in danger is a matter of course in the 21st Century.

But how much danger? In the UK in the past twelve months 1,713  died in road accidents and 22 people died leaving concerts. Each of those 22 innocents, as innocent as the men praying in a Mosque blown up by the US by mistake, had the right to live and it is absolutely tragic, completely.  All life is equal (including the lives of the animals I kill for lunch) and while it is hard to grasp it for social reasons, this is business as usual in Afghanistan. Iraq, Lebanon, Israel… I go back to the beginning, because the chance of me getting killed in a mosque in Syria (in the town where my father was born I might add) is zero, my empathy isn’t as a strong as an attack at a place where I could easily frequent. Bury your dead, check for connections to terrorist organizations, get your ounce of flesh if you can, learn what you may without curtailing people’s civil rights, and move on.

One final thing: if Islam conquered the world there would still be Islamic terrorism as the various factions fought it out, and if the US were at peace with every country on the planet, they’d pick on human rights and go to war for them. It will never end till everything ends.

 

 

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