Editor In Chief
Terrorism. Let the word sink in for a moment. No doubt the image framed within your mind is the crashing of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Terrorist.
Not a second has gone by before the image of a an ArabMuslim wisps across your vision. America. Yes, I am quite sure the melody of, “Oh Say Can You See,” is echoing through your consciousness, the patriotic swelling already beginning to tug at your heartstrings.
Americans have a unique perception on terrorism that we wave like a banner in the face of developing nations who are too ill advanced to know better, and world superpowers who are too advanced to really give a care.
We believe we are the good guys, the righteous ones, the holy saints of the world. Naturally, as a nation of such high estate, we have the right to cock our heads in dignity. After all, we are the soldiers of freedom, fighting ‘wars on terrorism’ and shoving our fingers into openings that would be better left closed.
The definition of terrorism is as follows: The use of violence, or intimidation in pursuit of political aims.
Oh dear, I don’t believe it stated anything about being Muslim or hijacking planes. By this definition, are we not the very semblance of the terrorists we condemn each day? And if so, why is our perception of terrorism so black and white?
By this point, your minds have probably locked themselves away into a safety box, comfortably resting in the loving arms of liberty with Uncle Sam quietly whispering in your ear,
“We don’t hijack planes!”
“We don’t rebel!”
“We are a beacon of hope!”
Dec. 16, 1773, one of our nation’s first glorified acts’ of terror. The hijacking of three British ships: the Dartmouth, Eleanor and the Beaver.
Many of you know this event as the Boston Tea Party. The heroic event where our brave revolutionists, disguised as Native Americans, vandalized British property and dumped precious tea into the harbor of Boston.
Oh no, have I insulted our textbooks that claim this to be a momentous event in our national history?
Heaven forbid that the Middle East rejoiced in the victory of Sept. 11, 2001, while we sit in reverend silence praising those who acted in a spirit of revolution against the British.
Our entourage of terror did not end with the revolution. Currently, in the Middle East, a group of militants known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria are driving out and slaying all those who will not follow Allah, their god.
Isn’t it barbaric? To think that a country would kill innocent people and take their land because they believe their god commands it.
Manifest Destiny: The American belief that it was our right, endowed by God, to take the land we now call home for ourselves, regardless of who was settled first.
Natives were slaughtered and driven from their homes; now, we keep them in tiny pens called compromise. We are a nation whose entirety is built upon terrorism, but for posterity’s sake, let us call it democracy.
In 1954, the United States entered the longest war in history: The Vietnam War. This war, by definition, was an act of terrorism, merely using the term ‘war’ to act as a cover for an intricate magazine.
This war was not fought because the United States was threated, but because we feared the spread of communism in the world.
We believed, and still do, that our system of government is “holier than thou,” and with this mindset, we used whatever means necessary to prevent communism from spreading to the four corners of the Earth. Justifiable? No. Were our actions a use of violence and intimidation in pursuit of political aims? Yes. We fought for a belief that our system of government was the sole true form of government.
Such a belief does not differ far from the realm of nations who currently wage war, or terrorism for religious dominance, claiming that their god is supreme.
The argument that we went to Vietnam to aid the South from being invaded is of course, a plausible theory.
After all, in history books, we are the good guys. Unfortunately, I have no means of interviewing those 500 unarmed civilians in My Lai who were slaughtered by American troops for no other reason than sport.
No doubt there were others who would give a different account to the tale if they still had breath in their lungs.
In the end, who is to blame? The government, military, media, religion, race or resources? Isn’t that the beauty of humanity, we always point the finger away from ourselves.
We are such humane creatures that we believe we are only capable of good. Then weshrink away into our shells at the slightest hint of someone telling us otherwise.
I do not write to condemn America. The rest of the world is busy doing that. Our perception; however, is cut too simply in black and white.
Americans are not the good guys in this world, Arabs, Russians and North Koreans are not the bad guys. If history books have anything to prove it is quite the opposite.
We are a nation of power, so naturally we are superior, right? No, that does not make us superior, nor give us the authority to act as the world’s baby sitter when we think nations are hoarding weapons of mass destruction, or upset over a stronger nation invading the weaker.
We may justifiably condemn another race, organization, religion and country when we reach the point in our lives where each American understands the concepts they are talking about, relying not on the credibility of a journalist trying to make a mark in the news, but the thought process of the human mind focusing on reason.
This in turn, is merely a fool’s hope. For we are a nation that cares more for a team of overpaid jocks rather than utilizing the brain crafted with far more intricacy than the screen our eyes are fixed upon.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost
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