Two fanaticisms don’t make a right |

Two fanaticisms don’t make a right

Conveniently forgotten, and probably never mentioned in the history books, is the fact that this nation was founded by terrorists. Many citizens, no less “American” than the patriots, but of the “Tory” persuasion, were tarred and feathered, beaten and forced to abandon their homes. There was no democratic vote of the populace on the question of rebelling from Britain and no bill of rights to protect Tory rights and property. From the British point of view, the American Revolution was also a war against terrorism. They could claim, with no less moral force, that they were fighting a war to protect loyal British citizens from “terrorism.”

Many of those who join terrorist organizations are testosterone-pumped young males whose impoverished countries offer them no outlet for their thirst for pride, self-respect and meaning in their lives. Unfortunately, joining a terrorist group may be the only way that a young male in a Third World country can escape hunger and grinding poverty. This is why they come predominantly from “Third world countries.”

No amount of money, no missile shield, no homeland security and no super military can totally protect America from terrorist attacks. Missiles can be fired from outside our territorial waters or from Mexico, which has no war against terrorism and lacks the resources to mount one. Americans abroad can be kidnapped and no “Delta force” may be able to save them just like what happened in Iran. And biologically deadly materials are too easy to obtain or make and too difficult to detect with certainty.

Patriotism is a heady wine, but patriotic fanaticism is not that different from religious fanaticism. In either case, the mind is definitely not at it’s best. Calling North Korea, Iran and Iraq the “axis of evil” could be a very unwise thing to do.

Though it may get rave reviews from super-patriots, and enhance President Bush’s popularity, it is more likely to encourage future terrorist attacks then to prevent them. Other countries have gone down this road in the past with horrific consequences.

Robert Eli

Nevada City

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