Cancer in humans is one of the worst illnesses a person can have. If it is caught early, doctors can often arrest the growth or progress of the cancer through the use of surgical procedures, radiation, and/or the use of chemotherapy. While it exists, It is an extremely difficult time for the patient and family. It requires continued monitoring by the medical professionals, to persistently probe and search for any indications that the cancerous growth has metastasized, or spread to other parts of the body. If that constant or on-going medical surveillance is not done, the cancer may spread and the patient could die sooner than he or she might have.
Compare the human body to the world in which we live. There are places in the world body where terrorism is a cancer. As it is with the person who has the first stage of cancer, and with those in the medical profession working diligently to eliminate it, if the world body chooses to ignore or not vigorously fight to remove the cancer of terrorism, it will metastasize and spread . . . and, it has. The question is, are we and the countries of the world doing all that can be done to eliminate the cancer of terrorism from the world body? It appears not.
In November of 2014, the Atlantic Monthly put out a report on terrorism, showing how it has been spreading world-wide. The report showed that in 2013, five countries, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Syria, suffered 82 percent of all the deaths from terrorism – a 61 percent increase in just one year. In addition, 24 other countries had 50or more terror-related murders.
Terrorism is metastasizing significantly. In 2000, there were 3,361 deaths from terrorism. By 2013, that number had grown to 17,958. The University of Maryland's Global Terrorism Database has information on more than 125,000 terrorist attacks between 1970 and 2013. That amounts to an average of eight terror attacks a day for 43 years. And, the frequency of the attacks and resulting murder rates are increasing. Terrorism has spread significantly into Africa, Asia, and Europe, with growing numbers in South and North America. A section of the report concluded that military force was not effective in eliminating terrorism and suggested that political solutions were more effective. That seemed to contradict logic as the report itself has shown, and as we have witnessed, the ever expanding growth of terrorism shows no end in sight. As this is being written, the horror of another terrorist attack at the airport in Istanbul has flooded the airwaves.
If you make something cheaper, or if you make it easier to do, more of it will happen. The corollary to that is if you make something more costly, or if you make it harder to do, less of it will happen. In looking at the persistent growth of terrorism, and its infliction of savagery on those they conquer, it is clear that those who oppose terrorism have simply not made it more costly or harder for the terrorists to expand their war activities.
In our own country, we are witnessing an uprising of the people who are upset with our government. That upset is not directed at one party, it is aimed at all parties and the professional politicians who serve self more than they serve the people. The upset is also directed at the bureaucratic system which also serves self more than the people, and imposes regulations that have the force of law with a number of those regulations being in violation of our Constitution.
The very essence of government is "police power," the ability to enforce laws and take the actions necessary to ensure the safety of citizens . . . at the local, state, and federal levels. A great deal of the upset in this country is because the government is not effectively exercising its "police power" to confront terrorism domestically and at its roots, internationally.
What our citizens are experiencing is not unique to this country. There is unrest across the globe as citizens react to the failure of their governments to ensure their safety. "The people" expect and are demanding their governments forcefully address the terrorism problems that are spreading worldwide. Moving people to different countries to escape terrorism creates even greater problems. If the root cause is not addressed, moving people to other environments only serves to accelerate the spread and growth of terrorism. The forced mixing of cultures, languages, dominant religions, social structures, and more, can only cause more of the upheaval we are witnessing in Europe.
The government's police power is to ensure the safety of its citizens. Using faculty lounge talk is not the way to confront the savagery that is taking place . . . that only offers encouragement to the terrorist. We need to employ our police power to its fullest to stop its spread and defeat terrorism.
We must eliminate the cancer before it's too late.
(Bob Meade is a Laconia resident.)
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