This may be why, though I was surprised, I was truly not shocked on 9/11, watching the TV and wondering how we could not see the inevitability of us also being targeted. The scale, of course, was breathtaking for us and the world, but the problem was not new.
One amazing and wonderful thing happened following the 9/11 attack: Americans who had previously found Irish terrorists somehow charming, or felt it was cool to support "the old country" in its tradition of political violence, suddenly had a new perspective on financial support for terrorists when their own children were suddenly at risk. Contributions from Irish-Americans dried up because their perspective was adjusted. (By 2009 the rate of terrorist attacks in Ireland was creeping up again. Obviously learning is both painful and requires frequent reinforcement.)
So I am holding on to hope today that from the death of innocents in Beirut and Baghdad on Thursday and Paris on Friday will come new, better perspectives. Maybe the children who are being recruited to be terrorists will seek a way out, although that is very dangerous...think Lost Boys of the Sudan. Maybe mothers around the world will decide the fear of being martyred is less important than working to save their children. Maybe fathers will find a way to move their families out areas where recruitment is most intense. (Tens of millions are trying to do so each year and the number is rising with the violence.) Maybe the folks who are running the governments and NGOs and religious folks will find ways to bring hope to those whose only hope is for 15 minutes of horrifying fame before death.
It is something worth working for, I think.
Almighty God, comfort us all. Send Your Spirit to pour out wisdom and courage and hope in these dark days. AMEN
NOTES: On Thursday in Beirut two ISIS suicide bombers killed 43 people and injured 250, and three terrorist attacks in Baghdad killed 52 and injured 85. The next day 129 died and 250 were injured (99 described as serious) in Paris in six locations. Mercifully, lack of efficiency by the terrorists who were targeting a major soccer match but arrived too late to do maximum damage kept the numbers as low as they are. In the coming days the numbers will be adjusted, but the "new normal" will change life for thousands.
http://www.newsweek.com/terrorism-rise-boko-haram-islamic-state-state-department-says-345592 from June 2015 contains the U. S. State department's horrifying analysis of the increasing terrorism in terms of both efficiency (deaths up 81%) and occurrences (up 35%) in 2014 over 2013.