With a tragedy such as the Orlando massacre, there is an urgency to come to an understanding of who is responsible. I think that impulse at least in part comes from a desire to keep such terrible tragedies from happening again.
And certainly, the man with his finger on the trigger bears the first responsibility. We know who he was and indeed he has already been punished being himself killed while in the act of killing other human persons.
But there is more in this plot than just this native born American citizen of Afghan ancestry or even his emotional connection with Daesh (the Islamic State) and his own inner demons. Those are the obvious. We have to go deeper. We owe that to all who have died.
We have to look at this problem with all of its complexities, and attempt to understand them and their many connections. Anything less is folly.
This holistic vision shows us that nobody is an island, everyone and everything comes from a milieu, a context. There is nothing that happens without a chain of causation. (Well, except for God of course but that is a different essay.)
So it comes to pass that we discover that there is such a thing in this world as “secondary terrorists.” These secondary terrorists create the objective conditions in which “primary terrorism” — such as happened in Orlando — proliferates. Without secondary terrorism, there would be very little, if any, primary terrorism, because nobody would be creating situations where terrorism seems like the best idea since sliced bread for the resolution of grievances.
I know this conflicts with the popular delusion and madness of crowds that there are evil Islamic terrorists who want to kill us because they are irrationally evil Islamic terrorists who hate us because we are so good and they are so evil.
We forget that before there was Islamic terrorism, there was a century of Western attacks on the peoples of the Middle East. There are millions of people out there who personally know someone, or are related to someone, who has died in one of our wars. Do you think they love us? We forget because we are supposed to forget, we have been relentlessly programmed to ignore the realities of our actions in this world. We forget because its easier to forget than to face the truth about what the United States has been doing in this world of sorrow and pain.
Who are the secondary terrorists in this situation? Those who are responsible for the political and military policies of the United States government and its allies throughout the world–
- President Barack Hussein Obama
- Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton
- Former President Bush II, together with his cronies Cheney and Rumsfield.
- Former President Bill Clinton and his VP Al Gore
- The leaders of the NATO countries which have backed the US moves in the Middle East, plus the historical leadership of France and England that carved up the old Ottomon Empire in ways that are mind-boggling in their incompetence.
- And all who carried water for these war criminals and made their war crimes possible.
(Trump is a “wannabee secondary terrorist.”)
This is definitely a most marginal opinion in today’s marketplace of ideas. But it’s the one consistent with all the facts.
The trouble with playing games with the lives of entire peoples is that there is no good outcome from such grave evil. In the end comes the crash and burn, the center that does not hold, and we will not be an exception to this historical truth. Ash heap of history, here we come! I have no idea what that will look like, but unless we the People of these united States decide to become much better people than we are now, we will not be able to avoid our fate. What goes around does come around, for good or for ill.
For the fact of that matter is that we have the government we have, these people are in charge,, because we are the people that we are. We ourselves are filled with greed and bloodlust and thus we should not be surprised when our leaders model our own sins on a world scale.
Which is to say that the situation isn’t actually hopeless, because every person is capable of becoming a better person. And if that catches on, we could overthrow the greedy murderous fanatics — Obama, Clinton, Trump — that are driving us towards the ash heap of history. As a devout Catholic Christian, I am addicted to the hope that good will triumph over evil, and that indeed by grace we will overcome evil with good. And as with all addictions, there are times, like now, when that addiction is somewhat desperate. I have read the Book, all the way to the end, and that is how it ends, but considering where we are now, between here and there is a lot of trauma.
In any event, given the scope of modern evil, and the hell being created all around us, all who hold to that promise ought to get busy, and if already busy, then we should get busier.
To what can I compare you—to what can I liken you— O daughter Jerusalem? What example can I give in order to comfort you, virgin daughter Zion? For your breach is vast as the sea; who could heal you?
Your prophets provided you visions of whitewashed illusion; They did not lay bare your guilt, in order to restore your fortunes; They saw for you only oracles of empty deceit.
Cry out to the Lord from your heart, daughter Zion! Let your tears flow like a torrent day and night; Give yourself no rest, no relief for your eyes. Rise up! Wail in the night, at the start of every watch; Pour out your heart like water before the Lord; Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children.(Lamentations 2:13-14;18-19)