By: Martina I.
Monday, May 22 the latest in an endless series of terrorist attacks on Europe took place. These attacks are becoming remarkably common that I had to reconsider using the term “latest” because perhaps by the time you’ll be reading this, it will no longer be. This is unacceptable, and what is worse, it will never stop until a revolution takes place not only in the Middle East, but also in the Western world. Don’t worry, I’m not going to propose building a wall around the whole continent of Europe and imposing a 200% tax on Middle eastern oil to pay for it (since apparently we live in a time in which this needs to be clarified). Anyhow what revolution, am I taking about? I am referring to an ideological revolution. Now, reader, you may be confused as to why I mentioned that this revolution should take place in Europe as well as the Middle East. You are probably thinking “An Ideological revolution in Europe to stop terrorism? That’s ridiculous! It is their ideology which is extreme and heretical and need to be eradicated, after which all will be solved!” This type of mentality, which has become almost the norm in the Western world, is exactly the problem, namely, became this way of thinking makes you no better than the much feared them. Now you would argue: “It’s not the same thing, even though we’re both convinced about our ideas we’re wrong any they’re right!” When asked why this is, you would simply reply “because they kill children and we don’t” with the most condescending glare you could muster.
To clarify, I am not advocating the killing of children, neither am I blaming you for the above descried mentality. After all, until the government stops ignoring the motives behind each of these attacks and referring to them as “senseless” you won’t know any better. Terrorism is cruel, immoral, and a despicable act of violence, but it’s not senseless. In fact, it has a very precise purpose, and this purpose is not merely to scare us because they hate us, contrary to what the media and post-attack political speeches would have you believe. You must know, reader, that a report by the British monitoring group Airwars has found out that Western air strikes on Syria and Iraq, mainly carried out by the US, have killed as many as 1,754 civilians and children in March 2017. Despite the legitimacy of this study, it has gone virtually unmentioned in the US and Europe. Perhaps, because it would expose the majority of politicians who condemn attacks on innocent civilians in Europe without ever mentioning this “collateral damage” that they accept to cause in the Middle East as a bunch of hypocrites. About 80 times more Syrian and Iraqi civilians have died at our hands than ours at theirs on Monday. Moreover, considering the fact that air raids on the Middle East with civilian casualties take place almost weekly, attacks on Europe are relatively rare, yet virtually never are the deaths of Syrian children and civilians reported on western television outlets. How could they never be condemned by our leaders when it is their allies who are directly responsible for these deaths? Have you ever heard the prime minister of France, for example, say something like: “France strongly condemns the US’ senseless killing of 12 Syrian children in an air raid and stands in complete solidarity with the people of Syria?” Why? are they implying that our lives are worth more than theirs or are they simply trying to protect their own image?
I hope, by now, considering the hypocrisy of the situation, that the anger of those who commit these attacks, though not the attacks themselves, is beginning to be justified in your mind. Do you now understand why in order to stop terrorism an ideological revolution in Europe is necessary? While their actions are certainly not justified, the terrorist have never failed to make their motives extremely clear every time, and their motives very closely resemble what I have just outlined above. Consequently, while hatred is definitely a side effect of this situation, it is not the reason why the terrorists attack our land. Whenever a politician claims that it is, either he is as ignorant about the statistics mentioned above as the majority of the population, which is very unlikely, or he is simply lying. This is extremely understandable. Western society is built on self-righteousness: we are the best, the most advanced, the most liberal, the most moral etc. Imagine the chaos that would break out if our population doubted for a second that this is true, is they doubted for a second that they are completely right while the others are completely wrong, that they are the victims, and the terrorists the inhuman monsters.
We are fighting an ideological war. There is no way to determine which side is right because ideology, just like morals, is subjective and abstract. Therefore, it is a war no one can ever win.