Sunday, July 10, 2005

Welcome to the party

Today’s Sunday edition of the Cleveland Plain Dealer has an editorial that discusses what to do in light of the recent bombing of London by terrorists.  The byline reads “The murderers hit New York.  Then Madrid.  Now London.  How is the world to end terrorism?  Its time to find out.” 

Does anyone besides me wonder where this editor has been for the last four years?

To no one’s real surprise, the paper states that the answer begins with the U.N., seeking a simple definition of terrorism.  That definition is found in a late November, 2004 statement by a U.N. panel stating “any action intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or noncombatants . . .”.  Trite that the Plain Dealer is citing a source that in itself is also three years late to the party.  Any sensible United States citizen has recognized exactly what terrorism is and has been for years, but more specifically since September 11, 2001.  In legal speak, sure, its nice to have the particulars laid out for the lawyers to base their arguments upon in court.  In the wake of the London attack, do we need this kind of a definition to classify it as terrorism? 

The editorial does state that the vaunted U.N. has not made a convention outlawing terrorism in every form, and even goes so far as to say that U.N. resolutions don’t really have much authority unless there is enforcement.  Blatantly omitted is the recognition of a certain twelve years of such conventions against a certain dictator and the continued rejection of the enforcement of such resolutions.  When finally the United States stood up and said that it was time to enforce the resolution, the strong voices of the U.N. turned to whimpering that more time had to be allowed.  Will those same voices suddenly decide to stand up in the face of terrorism when one of their conventions is refused by Al Qaeda? 

In the end, though, the Plain Dealer finds their invitation to the party, stating that the Muslim community should stand up in unison and blatantly state that this radical Wahabist wing of the religion is not representative of the religion as a whole.  While this is not the cure-all answer that anyone would like, it serves one of the greatest purposes:  It marginalizes the wing in the minds of young Muslims, and shows the world that these atrocities are not tolerated.

I hope that statement comes soon.

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