The blog fallout from the London bombings seems to be continuing. The question that no one seems to be asking is, what part or responsibility do we have for these actions. Similar to post 9/11 sentiments that I had - what are we doing to engender so much hatred for us? (Us being loosely used here to represent the west, or the imperialists, or the capitalists) After 9/11, I discovered a lot of information about why we are hated and when I put myself into their mindset, it was easy to hate us (because, though largely unannounced in our media, we do plenty of raping and pillaging on this planet).
You know in lots of American movies, there is a formula. The antagonist usually has a very large ego, is arrogant, and often has power that takes incredible cleverness to defeat. (the protagonist is this clever person who always seems to vanquish the antagonist spectacularly at film's end, yawn) The audience buys into the collective hatred of the antagonist, waits for him/her to get his/hers, and cheers and applauds for the protagonist's final defeat of the antagonist.
In a way, that is how many of our "haters" see us: our actions are defiant, arrogant, publicly self serving (why wouldn't we do something in our best interest, right?) and though we claim to be on the side of good, we ignore the millions dying of famine and brush under the rug civilian death statistics in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. That is because at the root of it, we believe our civilians hold more value than "theirs".
I am not on the side of violence, either from them or us. What I am on the side of is understanding all the points of view, because by truly understanding our neighbors, we are less likely to want to hurt them. (I hear you now, what if we understand and try to act respectfully of this understanding and they still end up hating us? That's a good question, but I think it's contrary to human nature to hate people or countries who act altruistically. Just MHO)
And finally, I am sick of people referring to these guys as cowards. What a self delusion. In the movies, if the protagonist shoots the antagonist in the back from a hiding place, we hoot and holler just the same. Blowing up innocent people is a clever way to get our attention.
If we civilians, who vote into power politicians to represent our will (however successful that is in reality) then we must certainly accept some blame for their actions.
In every conflict, we seek out the enemy's weaknesses - how is this any different?
Call me naive, call me unpatriotic, but frankly these terrorist guys are unbelievably courageous, whatever their ends.
Using my Yoda voice: Two, it takes, to tango.