They must be unconditionally eradicated wherever they rear their ugliness, by any means necessary. Compassion and understanding require it, justice and punishment demand it

An Unquenched Light Deserving No More Darkness

By —— Bio and Archives--May 25, 2017

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Terrorists, by their very namesake, want to invoke terror. Whether their acts are by individuals bent on inflicting harm for whatever reason or connected to, or at least inspired by, a particular ideology, it matters very little at this point. Either way, they wish to disrupt normalcy, creating chaos from order. Once again, the world has witnessed a terrorist attack that has done that exact thing. Once again, hollow rhetoric will echo forth calling for compassion and understanding. Yes, there should be compassion - for the victims and their families. Yes, there should be understanding - for how and why such a senseless act was perpetrated in the first place. There must be both of these things in order to properly act. In order to properly act, though, both must be suppressed in order to dole out justice and punishment - justice for the victims and their families, punishment for the perpetrators. Neither can ever be forthcoming clouded by compassion or understanding.

Targeting Young Girls is Shocking Even By Standards of Contemporary Terrorism

This is a lesson that should have been learned a long time ago, but misplaced sensibilities and political correctness have silenced that message over the past two decades. What is increasingly alarming, and most appalling, is living in a world in which some would qualify terrorism “standards” depending on the shock value attributed to the act. (The Irish Times, “Targeting Young Girls is Shocking Even By Standards of Contemporary Terrorism”) Terrorism is terrorism, but it can never be fully eliminated as long as it is allowed to hold such desensitized sway over society. This stems from leadership that repeatedly calls for no rush to judgment and acceptance for this “new normal” as part of modern life, rather than forthrightly condemning and admonishing the act in a fight for civilization. How many more lives must be taken and forever changed before the world wakes up to reality? Compassion, understanding, “love over hate” - all great words to live by, but meaningless and ineffective for combating those who harbor none of those sentiments other than to destroy them.

Using terror tactics is not a modern phenomena. Their varied use throughout history to divide and instill fear have been chronicled by both ancient and contemporary scholars. The United Kingdom is no stranger to its effects, either. It is impossible to discuss the struggle for Irish independence without highlighting acts of terror committed in that cause, particularly during the turbulent 20th century. Amidst opposition to the U.K.’s pending withdrawal from the European Union and renewed calls for Northern Ireland to potentially rejoin the Republic of Ireland in its wake, it would not have been unreasonable, even if unfathomable, to think the Manchester bombing somehow related to one or the other.

Alas, as ISIS claims credit, we yet again now know there are links to Islamic extremism, the Middle East equally sharing a well-documented history of terrorism. This is not phobia to state, only a fact of this so-called “new normal” so readily used to excuse and ignore the destructive nature of it.

In a cynical world, it would be easy to become complacent and immune to tragedy. Even more so when it occurs nowhere near us. Once again, as too often has occurred in recent memory, solemn prayers will be spoken and emotional vigils held in remembrance. Then what comes next? “Never Again,” held up as a reassuring mantra to our scarred psyche? How many times has that been evoked as a rallying cry, only for it to ring empty with the next terrorist attack? When will it truly mean an end to suffering? While the future is an unwritten void, the path to it is no less illuminated; time and again, we tragically bear witness to the failure to heed it. To only battle the influences that continually cause this re-examination after the fact is not enough. No longer. They must be unconditionally eradicated wherever they rear their ugliness, by any means necessary. Compassion and understanding require it, justice and punishment demand it.

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Steve Sagarra -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Steve Sagarra is a freelance writer, journalist and historian from St. Louis, MO. As a former opinion columnist/editorial writer for a conservative community newspaper, he has written on topics ranging from socio-economic issues, local and national politics and international relations, and has reported on the political scene throughout the St. Louis region. With degrees in history from the University of Missouri, he also has contributed to several encyclopedic projects, scholarly journals and websites. You can read more of his writing on his personal blog, Sassafras Gazette (sassafrasgazette.blogspot.com), or follow him on Twitter (@SteveSagarra).

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