The man on the tape raised his hand, pointing a finger into the camera, his AK-47 raised at his side, punctuating every threat and accusation. He seemed consumed with the intense desire not only to declare his intentions, but earnest in his attempts to persuade his threatened audiences of their culpability in his group’s future aggression upon them. Like a serial killer, shouting obscenities into the ear of his victim, blaming her for what womankind’s rejections had made of him, forced him to become, as he puts the rope around her neck. Yet this country and others are not only dealing with one serial killer, but thousands. Thousands, whose representatives shout proud pronouncements of fatwas and death to world audiences, becoming caricatures of themselves by the proliferation of their messages and their insatiable need for the eye of the camera.
The inevitable analysis and debate about the meaning behind the thug’s words and the relevance of them to the threatened audiences always ensues and I wonder, not if the U.S. or Russia or Iraq or any other country caught up in the drama of the tyrannical ones, are responsible for the terrorist actions against them or whether the terrorists hate them or if this worldwide struggle is actually about Islam and its struggle with itself. To me all those arguments are almost irrelevant.
For eons countries and individuals have consumed themselves in hatreds and wars, and death and destruction. Peoples have been oppressed, persecuted, murdered and executed by governments, occupiers, tribes, and every group or faction that ever existed with murderous, xenophobic tendencies. And for just as long insurgencies have been seeded, and resistance has fomented hatred and rebellion to authorities have existed.
What strikes me is not the validity or invalidity of the terrorists cause, but the sheer arrogance of it. The al-Qaida madman with an Australian accent proclaiming “It is time for us to be equals. As you kill, you will be killed. As you bomb, you will be bombed.” The Chechen fiend admitting his depravity in the killing of children but justifying it by citing the Russians’ even more. The murderer in Iraq declaring his right to remove the head of yet another innocent person caught up in the insanity of his groups existence upon this earth. All spewing the tenets of their causes, all citing the moral imperative of their actions, all killing the innocent for the sake of the guilty.
How like the BTK killer they are. Bind them, Torture them, Kill them.
The sheer arrogance of thinking that an injustice to their people warrants the death of an innocent person is astounding. And to claim that God would condone the deaths of innocents just for their sake is insane.
No matter what the injustice, what atrocities, what unspeakable acts of aggression one group has and is liable to inflict upon another, the killing of innocents is never justified. Never. And the punishment of the guilty, in a civilized society, is only done by decree from a court of law. (Something the U.S. and Britain need keep in mind.)
But of course, the terrorists, like serial killers, have an answer for this. In their arrogance they deem themselves the judge, jury and executioner of the guilty. And to them all are guilty. The innocent are never innocent. They’re complicit, taking the part of the perceived guilty, collaborating with the enemy, sharing the genetic pool of the perpetrators. No one is innocent in their eyes, nothing is pure, only their cause.
There is a wisdom that exists in the world that is only discovered by people willing to accept the truth about themselves and others. And it is this: Excluding all rational and real evidence to the contrary, people see what they are. They see others and the world through the lens of their own prejudice, their own fear, their own hatred, their own malice. Thus, Bin Laden calling the White House “a gang of serial killers” in an audiotape in 2002. The terrorists, in judging the administration have already judged themselves, and in seeing no innocence in others, have also revealed that there is none in them.
Let us see rationally and by the evidence of their actions and the words that they speak what the terrorists truly are. Killers, who have ritualized and executed their bombings, kidnappings, tortures and beheadings, following an internal as well as external call to madness. Let us learn by the way law enforcement deals with serial killers. They talk with them only to find out where the bodies are buried and who the victims are. They never sympathize with their cause, they never condone their actions, and they never allow their justifications that go on and on to sway them.
And as these serial killers seek to explain the reasons for their murders, nearby local governments of the affected state don’t issue statements claiming the state’s policies were responsible for their actions. It would be ridiculous if they did. Let us clearly see that just as there is no justification in the serial killer’s explanation, there is none in the cause of the terrorist’s, just the ranting and ravings of murderers who are certain that they are more important than the innocent. That what happens to them is of such worldwide significance, that vengeance of it warrants the deaths of thousands.