War: An organized, armed, and often a prolonged conflict that is carried on between states, nations, or other parties.
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Terrorism: The French word terrorisme in turn derives from the Latin verb terreō meaning “I frighten.” Although “terrorism” originally referred acts committed by a government, currently it usually refers to the killing of innocent people by a non-government group in such a way as to create a media spectacle.
From the above, we see that war is between willing participants, and terrorism is a more no-holds-barred approach to attacking an enemy. The act of terrorism leaves civilians as potential targets.
When Timothy McVeigh help blow up a building April 19, 1995 in Oklahoma City, it made American’s stomach turn. What was even more mind blowing was the mentality of the killer. An American named Timothy McVeigh created unthinkable pain and suffering. Coming off cool as he wanted to be, his position on the innocent peopled killed was “To the people in Oklahoma who have lost a loved one, I’m sorry but it happens every day. You’re not the first mother to lose a kid, or the first grandparent to lose a grandson or a granddaughter. It happens every day, somewhere in the world. I’m not going to go into that courtroom, curl into a fetal ball and cry just because the victims want me to do that.”Terrorist follow the thought process of, “If you get caught in the crossfire, too bad for you.”
Before getting shot by Navy SEAL Team 6, Osama Bin Laden was known for allowing civilians to die without the least bit of concern. This was first apparent when he bombed Kenya in 1998. I was outraged then, but few others seemed concerned since it happened in Africa. Not long after, Bin Laden attacked on American soil and many American’s are still healing from the emotional scar. Once sharing his military philosophy Bin Laden said “In today’s wars, there are no morals. We believe the worst thieves in the world today and the worst terrorists are the Americans. We do not have to differentiate between military or civilian. As far as we are concerned, they are all targets.”
The above statement is far away from what the Prophet Muhammad taught his followers. According to the first Caliph of Islam, Abu Bakr, the general outline is “Stop, O people, that I may give you ten rules for your guidance in the battlefield. Do not commit treachery or deviate from the right path. You must not mutilate dead bodies. Neither kill a child, nor a woman, nor an aged man. Bring no harm to the trees, nor burn them with fire, especially those which are fruitful. Slay not any of the enemy’s flock, save for your food. You are likely to pass by people who have devoted their lives to monastic services; leave them alone.” Apparently what the founder of Islam taught, has fallen on many deaf ears of those that consider themselves to be ardent followers of the faith.
It wasn’t until I saw the compelling documentary The Power of Nightmares that I began to understand the psychology of how Muslim terrorists legitimize their horrific actions.
Obviously any group who uses terrorism will find an excuse (no matter how flimsy). No excuse is valid in reality.
So when Occupy Wall St. emerged, I was ready for the spectacle. Occupy has been a spectacle indeed. I’m sure to a 1%’er sitting aloft his Manhattan suite, the vision of the American masses letting their voices be heard must be frightening. Watching it spread from New York, to DC, to LA to Oakland and Portland was inspiring as well. I called a good friend of mine in New York and asked his opinion of Occupy movement? What he said stuck with me, genuinely. He said “As long is it stays nonviolent, I support it.”
For the most part it did. Despite heavy handed scenarios in various cities by some of the police, many Occupy activists have done a great job of keeping it nonviolent. But then they went after the Port of Oakland.
Some estimated the cost of the Port of Oakland shut down between 4-8 million dollars.
“The Occupy people say they respect the 99 percent, when they disrespect and disrupt what we do,” said Lavelle Brown, an independent trucker who lives in San Francisco. “If they want to protest the 1 percent, they should go to the Financial district.”
Another echoed what many to this day don’t understand about Occupy. Who are they for real? What do they want? Besides hitting the block what are they prepared to do?
“I’m trying to figure out what these people want with their movement,” said John Carino, a Tracy resident and truck driver who was attempting to deliver rice. “I’m trying to make a living doing this. These shutdowns are hurting us.”
There is no doubt that a lot of Oakland businesses have been cut bad by Occupy.
I saw a guy on the news who shined shoes downtown in Oakland. He said Occupy ran most of his customers away. He said that they made it so he can hardly survive. Beyond that, he said he none of the Occupy people ever got their shoes shined by him or kicked in money for the inconvenience they caused him.
The more I watch Occupy, the more I feel the nebulous strength that gave them power in the beginning has fizzled out. Now it seems their formless movement is losing effect and impact. I don’t say this out of disrespect. I understand the economic frustration the masses have. I am one of the frustrated masses. I also support free speech and the right to assemble peacefully. But all the economic collateral damage other 99%’ers have taken on makes me resent Occupy a little bit. I know they “mean well”, but if another 1%’er is suffering because of their actions, maybe they need to take new actions.
If they want to make war on the 1% they need to find direct, surgical tactics that leave others in the 99% economically sound and secure. If they don’t refine their psychology and actions, Occupy could disintegrate into the status of terrorists. I don’t want that for Occupy. Corporate greed is out of control. Many politicians are serving themselves and ignoring the needs of the people. But I don’t want 99%’ers to suffer economically. So what do we do?
I have never hit the block for an Occupy protest. Based on the collateral damage I’ve seen, I doubt I ever will. At the same time, I support the spirit of what they are doing. How do we close the gap?
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