Framing the Dialogue

Understanding Where They Are Coming From

Hidden Brain logoMy previous post was a book review of The Black Widow by Daniel Silva.  The author’s Forward noted that he had written his novel which starts off with a series of terrorist attacks in France before the recent ISIS attacks.  Was he prescient or just “unlucky” in his guess.  He considered not publishing the book, but decided that it needed to be done.  The following quote from his book spoke to me regarding the latest terrorist attacks;

it was likely that in a few days’ time Americans would once again die in their own country because of an ideology, and a faith, born of a religion that most could not find on a map.  the enemy could not be reasoned with or dismissed; it could not be appeased by an American withdrawal from the Islamic world.  America could leave the Middle East, thought Gabriel, but the Middle East would follow it home.”

You can consider this post an open criticism of our politicians and their total lack of ability to even name the enemy.  I do consider folks who desire nothing short of destroying our way of life AND killing us an ENEMY.  I believe that since our political “leaders” are unwilling or unable to understand, we all need to understand and force them to understand and take appropriate action.  What evidence is out there that this is going away or getting better.  Take their guns, they’ll use bombs…take their bombs…they’ll use trucks…restrict those they’ll use knives and axes.

Perhaps is was kismet that I recently listened to a podcast that dealt with terrorism after the recent spate of American, European, and Middle East attacks and Silva’s novel.  The Hidden Brain Podcast can be found at this link and was a rebroadcast of a prior podcast titled “The Psychology Of Modern Terrorism: What Drives Radicalization At Home“.  This should be required listening for all Americans especially for those in elected office and in particular the folks who live and work in the White House.

It is important to note that Hidden Brain is a National Public Radio podcast and while I listen to quite a few of their podcasts I do find them sometimes to be irritatingly liberal.  I’ve even “unsubscribed” to a few that, even though I enjoyed them, I got tired of the relentless critique of conservative and libertarian values.

That being said…this podcast pulls no punches as host Shankar Vednatam talks to psychologist Ariel Merari and anthropologist Scott Atran about radicalization and modern terrorism.  Politicians love to talk about trying to understand terrorists in the hope that they’ll somehow go away.  I am not sure whether they actually believe that…I don’t.  I don’t see much evidence of that.  The podcast, originally aired in December 2015 and aptly described how ISIS picks their targets and has grown.  They don’t seem like “second string” to the thousands of friends and family of those killed or wounded in the recent attacks.

Towards the end of the podcast the stark moment was when Dr. Merari talks about how to defeat ISIS “if you want to fight effectively against militant Islam you have first of all to defeat it physically despite what they say about hearts and minds…I don’t understand why the West hasn’t done it yet.”

Do yourself a favor…listen to the podcast…get others to do it…spread the word…put pressure on elected officials!  Or at least you won’t be fooled by their empty rhetoric and promises.

 

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