by Kathie MM
The corporate media, when it does not have enough juicy crime and scandal stories to shock and awe, often provides us with a new episode in the “war on terror”.
Internationally, the dominant approach to combatting terror appears to be using or threatening more terror.
I think we know how well that has served us. (Is the world safer for democracy yet?)
Fundamentally, there appears to be little global appreciation for the complexity, the pervasiveness, the insidiousness of terrorizing–that is, the human propensity to “fill with terror or anxiety,” “scare,” or “coerce by threat or violence.”
Let’s face it, wherever there is an imbalance of power, there is a potential for terrorizing.
Often, throughout history, in much of the world, men have terrorized women (including husbands terrorizing wives), first borns have terrorized later borns (think of Cain and Abel), members of different gangs have terrorized each other, bullies have terrorized whomever they can, and, sadly, the rich and powerful have terrorized the poor and meek (who seem to have a long way to go before they will be allowed to inherit the earth).
If we are going to have a successful war on terror, we need to take an ecological approach; that is, we need to tackle terrorizing at all levels of society—in the home, in the neighborhood, in the broader community, in states, and in the international community.
Terrorizing behavior is contagious—once you allow it into your home, it can go viral.
There are lots of efforts underway that can help inhibit terrorizing as a power-wielding, power-seeking tactic—domestic violence prevention programs, anti-bullying programs, women’s rights programs, civil rights programs, and a wide range of United Nations human rights initiatives.
All of these programs have flaws; after all, they were developed by human beings. However, if you want to participate in the most general, most far-reaching, most likely-to-succeed war on terror, then supporting , defending, trying to improve, and contributing to the success of those programs is as good a place to start as any.