How to react to the tragedy in Paris?

I am so conflicted.  When I first heard about the attacks in Paris I was disgusted and angry.  It is beyond my comprehension that one (or eight) human beings could indiscriminately murder innocent people. I wondered at the type of brainwashing the suicide bombers succumbed to or the life they led that they were able to carry out these evil actions.

I thought back to the Nazis.  They were the evil of their era and it took a world war to finally put an end to them. Is that what it will take?  I found myself joining in with those who were prompting our and other governments to step up the attacks on Isis.  I’ve never been a war monger. I was disturbed that I was leaning in that direction.

Then on NPR this morning I heard an interview with a refugee living in Paris who had the opposite reaction.  His first thought upon hearing of the terror attack was to hope that now a cease fire in Syria would be negotiated. He pointed out that the rise of Isis comes from the fog of war and the hopelessness of young people who have lived so long with violence from within and without that they make a game of identifying the type of bombers that fly over their schools, homes and streets.

Sadly the need for governments to increase attacks on Syria out of vengeance and as proof to their citizens that they will be kept safe leads me to believe that all we have to look forward to is more of the same. We attack them; they attack us.  I fear for our future and my heart breaks for the innocent people caught up in the fighting who will have fewer and fewer avenues of escape.

We should be asking why can Isis convince people to do these acts?  What had Hitler told his followers that led them to hate and act out of hatred; what are Isis followers being told? What conditions exist that people gravitate to Isis? We need to get to the root of the problem and fix it.  Like weeds, we can pull up the ones we see but until we eradicate the roots they’ll just keep popping back up.

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One thought on “How to react to the tragedy in Paris?

  1. nomasoto November 17, 2015 / 3:41 pm

    You make a good point, Linda.

    Poverty, ignorance, oppression, and the competition for dwindling water and other resources further push the impoverished to desperation. There is an increase of displaced populations globally that will add to the number of growing conflicts. Add to that misguided notions of religion, prejudice and discrimination, fear, the push back of haves against have-nots and vice versa, the greed of those who profit from war, wasteful use of resources and toxification of the environment, ill informed politicians who thrive on attention and posturing, and you have the pre-conditions for a future that none of us will be prepared for or able to survive.

    The world and all of her people need our compassion and kindness more than ever. If we choose fear, we feed the violence.

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