Another senseless and distressing terrorist incident in Manchester, England last night continues man's violent march into madness.
Each time I see another terrorist incident, whether it's in Pakistan, where innocent people get blown up or in Afghanistan, where more police are killed by the Taliban or in Paris or Brussels, I have to wonder, what makes people so deranged and so homicidal that they would blow themselves up, killing themselves and innocent people in the process?
Religion plays a part. People of any religion can be convinced by the folly that they're acting for "God," in killing innocents. It's been done, recently and over the centuries by Christians, Muslims, and Jews, as well as other religious denominations.
Ignorance plays a big part for those who become suicide bombers, who are merely dupes, usually very young, being used by those who wish to strike fear, and extort power or money from their victims.
Injustice is also part of the reason some people become so angry that they are willing to risk their lives fighting and killing those who have so much, because they or theirs have so little.
Culture is also "the sea" in which these predators swim, and if the culture is racist or demeans women, and decapitates people for crimes or infractions, it teaches hate and violence, and many homicidal maniacs will be produced, and have been produced by such environments.
And so the world has a serious terrorist problem. Al Qaeda, which once was a few hundred people hiding in caves in Tora Bora in Afghanistan, has mushroomed into tens of thousands spread across many nations, and even the death of Osama Bin Laden has not stopped the recruitment and growth of this monstrous organization.
ISIS is another genocidal group that continues to accrue billions of $$$ in resources, and gains a steady stream of volunteers from all over the world to join it's ranks, and commit the most gruesome and inhumane atrocities on people wherever they can.
Besides the Middle East, there are other terrorist groups in Africa, Indonesia, and perhaps the most dangerous of all in N. Korea, where the government threatens the world with nuclear bombs.
But perhaps the most insidious of all the evils these terrorist groups incite is the rise of fears in the populations of the West and other industrialized nations, who then elect authoritarians, who lie and say they will "destroy these groups," and they promise to bomb the hell out of them. If bombs and armies, and police could have stopped these terrorists, they would have long ago.
Three of the greatest and most powerful nations on earth are all in the hands of brutal authoritarians, who will do almost anything to keep their power.
Indonesia used many fixes for dealing with terror.
I'm speaking of China, Russia and the USA.
While China and Russia brook no change in their leadership, and whether it's Xi Jinping the head of the Communist government in Beijing or Vladimir Putin, who controls the government of Russia, they will use the power they have to enrich themselves and their cronies, and ruthlessly subdue or crush any opposition that dares to challenge their rule.
In America, we have Donald Trump, a corrupt, vain, and incompetent fool, who defies conflict of interest laws, nepotism laws, and even goes so far as to obstruct justice, by interfering in investigations into his alleged collusions with Russia. America also has a know-nothing, sanctimoniously hypocritical Republican Party in control of the Congress, and most of the states, and they indulge the criminal behavior of the president, because he can sign legislation cutting taxes for their greediest and richest patrons, or to impose restrictive religious laws that their fanatic Evangelical followers demand.
Terrorism instigates fear as it is intended to do. Frightened people seek protection from their governments, and those who promise to be the most destructive of these terrorists often win elections or come to power (See recent events: the Brexit vote, the "election" of Trump, and the Erdogan power grab in Turkey).
We live in a very dangerous world, but the only way for the burgeoning human population to survive in the future, and hopefully thrive, is through rational and reasoned behavior, realizing that terrorism has to be dealt with by removing it's causes; mentioned above.
Atlantic Monthly article on how to end terrorism.
But changing religious beliefs, and cultures requires economic justice and education, which would take decades, assuming we could ever make that commitment.
And although these changes would in the long run, cost much less than all the wars and all the weaponry we currently spend far too much time and money on today, they remain elusive.
In the end, education, knowledge, economic justice and cultures of kindness are the only hope for the survival of our species, but so long as authoritarians with simple answers are selected to "protect" us from the terrorist monsters, humanity will continue to flirt with extinction, as we can eventually disappear in smoke; amidst a proliferation of mushroom clouds that erupt simultaneously worldwide.