Sunday, August 13, 2006

Containing Terror

I was relieved the other day to hear that another terrorist plot had been discovered and stopped. Somehow though, that does not help me feel safe. It just seems to refocus my mind towards contemplating the potential for further trouble. There are probably many more plots being brewed around the world.

While I am grateful for the elimination of the captured terrorists, I am reminded of how much of the world seems bent on destruction of what they perceive the USA to be. Representatives of our country doing business and traveling overseas do not always shed the most flattering of lights on the rest of us. I cringe at the thought of what so many people around the world think of us. Some of the terrorists don't need the excuse, some see our greedy image as justification for their handiwork, and some become terrorists because of unfortunate business and government policies.

Don't get me wrong. I love this country. What I don't love is the waste and greed that seems to overshadow the good intentions of many Americans... including many of those serving overseas. But the facts still remain that there should be enough food produced around the world to prevent the widespread hunger that exists, that the US uses far more resources than most of the world, and that we have failed to produce and use new technology to reduce our dependence on resources that pay for the perpetuation of governments that suppress their own people.

The greed and corruption in foreign governments is something that we have little control over. We have failed to eliminate it in our own government. However, what exists in the US is minor compared to what exists in some countries around the world. We donate money to organizations to help fight starvation and to aid in disasters, but too often the money gets funneled into other uses. Some of the things we can do are to elect those officials who promote sound policies locally, nationally, and internationally, to support those elected officials as well as keep them accountable, and to educate ourselves about current conditions in our country and around the world.

Maybe through wiser national and international policies, if we are gradually able to eliminate the conditions that are the seeds of terrorism, it will cease to be the problem that it has become. So, when you have the chance, support education-- not only do we need to improve it here in the US, but we need to support the programs that provide for education around the world. Continue to support responsible agencies that provide aid around the world. Support US companies that have good track records overseas. Vote wisely. Do what you can. Just don't put your head in the sand while proclaiming that we are the best. We need to stop proclaiming our former glories while failing to see the needs that now exist in our own country.

We have the ability to be the best, but we are failing in too many areas. Americans have always been able to meet their challenges. How much longer will we be able to do so if we do not take a realistic look at the problems that exist in our own country and around the world, and if we continue to become more and more dependent on our federal government to take care of our every need. What has happened to the American spirit that took pride in being self-sufficient? Have we given up the dream that our country allows those who put forth the effort to excel and do great things?

I believe we still hold onto that fierce compassion for others as evidenced by our aid in disasters around the world. What we lack is a perception of our world as it really is today. We are failing to see those festering disasters that exist and don't necessarily make the daily headlines. And we are failing to educate ourselves and our children to become world-wise.

Okay, I'm done now. It has been a while since I have done a "Rhodent Rant" and I think I have rambled on enough for now. I just needed to get it out of my system tonight!


Jim said...

It sounds like the Top Shelf Margaritas are wearing off. Did they make you meaner?
Seriously, there isn't even one thing you said that I can argue with. Rant on! Rant some for me too because I probably won't, even though all concerned people ought to.

Rachel said...

This was a good rant Rhodent. Truly good.

Frustrated Writer said...

in a free market society the basic premise goes against the ideology of compassion/heartfelt intentions of bettering the world. we exist to meet the demands, get rich off of the supplying the needs of the demands, and fail to see the big picture. I call it a paradox but am hopeful that one day we can see through the greed and see the need. good rant rho!

Carmi said...

I like your rants. They give us much food for thought.

I sure hope the world figures it out in the years to come. Until then, we can always continue to hope.

Nyx said...

Good rant there. Especially this line: What we lack is a perception of our world as it really is today.

I think Americans are great but I do think that perhaps your government is guilty of the above sentence quite a lot and this maybe causes the resentment from extremists around the world that we see so often in play.

I think that every nation has had a dodgey element in their government at some point, Americans are just so damn good at PR.

Cliff Morrow said...

I'm okay with most of this. I do think we have a tendancy to listen to big media when they ask what we did to make someone want to bring down 5000 people in mid flight. If you kill someone. It's your fault. No matter what. It can't be blamed on someone else. That kind of stuff (wanting to kill large groups of innocent people is just pure evil at it's best)

2HB2 said...

I liked your rant and the comments.
I agree with Cliff when he says "wanting to kill large groups of innocent people is just pure evil at it's best"
This applies to all senseless killing. Not just terrorists..

Rhodent said...


Rainypete said...

I don't necessarily think that they foil any more plots than they did before. The only difference is that we are made aware of them now. This increases our unease and make their job easier.