It was right before work while eating breakfast that I read about what Happened in Brussels. It happened again an attack against people going about their lives and out of the blue explosions ripple through the crowd killing many hurting many more. Why? Why would people want to do this? Why kill yourself and others for a cause? Who are these people?
At lunchtime in the few spare moments during my consumption I read the updates and learned of the death toll and more details about what happened. Apparently there were a few explosions that happened. The first two at the airport one and then another followed by one in the metro system near the European Union Headquarters near one of the main stations Melbeck. I’ve passed through this station once on my way to Paris years ago. I’ve read about the history of Brussels recently. It was founded in the twelfth century and grew in prominence quickly. It has managed its position well and is one of the founding members of the European Union as well as NATO. For such a small country it’s strength comes from being able to coordinate and bring into cooperation different entities. It is good at leveraging.
After work I rushed home at my usual pace. There is no way to get back faster. I wanted to watch the reports that inevitably will fill the airwaves. The commentary and the images that are beamed accross the planet on repeat. There are always some exemplary footage* that shows the aftermath of whatever tragedy may have happened. There is always news analysis a conversation with some experts and statements from political leaders. The presentation of the scene and what they believe happened is presented. There are sounds of sirens, crying, screaming and images of the wounded as well as many reactions. This is how people feel immediately after a tragedy such as this.
This has happened before. There were attacks in Paris earlier in the year. According to one of the analysts there have been about thirty terrorist attacks in Europe over the past five years. This is not something new on these shores. There is a group of people hell bent on causing indiscriminate carnage to the western way of life. We are told that young men and some women travel to Syria and become trained in techniques that result in these events. They strike soft targets like transportation hubs and places where many different people congregate. In this way they can inflict maximum damage both physically and psychologically. It leaves many feeling unsafe in places where they once felt safe.
As the feed became repetitive cycling through all the experts that weighed in with their opinion athe question of how to stop these events from happening came up. The obvious answer was that security services had to work harder was presented. However a more involved answer was also presented. That had to do with inclusion of a segment of the population that feels marginalized. When people grow up in poverty and have no access to integration into society they are ripe for conscription into a cause. If we believe the reports regarding their background in criminal activities it’s also conceivable that these acts in the name of a “holy” cause serves as some kind of a weird penance for their past. That cause gives them a purpose that they never had before.
World leaders released statements saying that we must unite against this tyranny of terror. “We must stand together in order to combat this evil that threatens our way of life” or words to that effect. They say that it is a dark day and that they will do everything possible to help those who have been affected by these events. Are our leaders going to do the right thing in order to eliminate this threat? Are they going to get to the root of the problem or just scratch the surface?
What emerged from some analysts’ conversations is the fact that the Muslim population living in Brussels isn’t well integrated into their society. There is rampant poverty and unmployment as well as a large number of individuals that have gone and come back from Iraq and Syria. There they were trained and initiated into this cult and now act as somewhat independent agents infecting the communities they come back to. The battle to eliminate the threat lies on two fronts one at home and the other in the Middle East.
Both fronts require a strategy that goes beyond just exerting force in order to achieve some military objective. This battle won’t be won with bombs. It can only be won when people don’t see that cult as the answer. When their perspective or view no longer makes sense. It will take a multi faceted approach requiring time, energy and most importantly money. This is how the values that our western society holds most dear could be shown to be true instead of just words that we keep saying.
I feel sad every time this stuff happens. I understand why people leave their homeland uprooting their families from their ancestral lands in order to find something better for their children. Regardless of where people come from the vast majority just want to find peace and prosperity. My family has been through this and I’ve grown up integrating into a new world. We in the western world promote this prosperity and sometimes flaunt it a bit too much. Not everyone is able to achieve those dreams unfortunately. We need to somehow find a way of mitigating this problem or we stand to lose these values and this promise of a better life to a handful of men who are diametrically opposed to our beliefs.
*Note: all images are screenshots from BBC and SkyNews internet feeds.