The backhanded benediction, ‘may you live in interesting times’, is neither ancient nor Chinese. Nevertheless, we appear to be the unfortunate recipients of this odious blessing.
As our hearts ache for the victims of all manner of terrorists, we practically pull our hair out asking ourselves ‘Why?” It’s our nature to question the will of providence. When terrible things happen, especially terrible things visited upon us by our fellow humans, the question takes on an infuriating urgency.
There’s no shortage of apparent causes for extremist violence: racism, misogyny, economic inequality, bone-headed ideologies, war-mongering industrialists, psychopaths and global warming all have a place on the list of how terrorism raises it’s ugly brow.
The tenacious extremism emanating from the Middle East can be blamed on a century’s worth of western interventions that have progressively destabilized the entire region. In America, our run of domestic terrorism can be blamed on the ease with which any kook with an ax to grind can arm himself to the teeth. Aside from easy access to weapons, terrorists of all stripes always seem to have one other thing in common: religion. [Read more…]