The idea of people willing to slaughter thousands of innocent victims supposedly in the name of religious beliefs was thrust upon the American public on 9/11. We bound those horrible wounds and took the painful steps necessary to reduce the risk of further damage. All that we did and do was and is necessary and effective.
There was, however, one step that could have been taken but that was rejected, ridiculed and condemned by the Bush/Cheney people. The people around Bush adamantly insisted that we were wasting our time trying to understand why these young people were committing themselves to these radical groups. They were evidently convinced that all we needed to do was kill them all off and the problem would go away.
That approach has clearly not worked. Groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS have flourished and grown despite the many billions of dollars we have spent trying to eradicate them. To this day people from all over the world are committing themselves to these groups and either physically joining them or adopting their sick views and carrying out the slaughter of innocents throughout the world.
It is far past time to take two steps the are absolutely necessary if this cancer is ever to be removed from the global community. First, we need to stop honoring these people with the designation of “terrorists.” That term suggests that these people are part of a legitimate, or at least semi-legitimate, political body. They are not. The groups promoting these horrendous acts are criminals. They have no allegiance to God or to any religion supporting that God. They do nothing but besmirch the religion of Islam and the God whom true Muslims worship. There is utterly no justification for the violence they seduce young people into committing. They are criminals. They need to be hunted down and eradicated.
It is the second step that we have failed to consider and that we desperately need to work on. The mindless and abhorrent violence promoted by this group of criminals continues only because they are able, through an aggressive advertising campaign, to seduce young people around the world to join their ranks. The world needs to respond to that campaign by addressing the concerns of the young people vulnerable to the proddings of these criminals. We need to listen to their concerns. We need to give them a voice in our own communities so that they will recognize that they have a legitimate place among us.
How is that best done? I have no idea, but there are those in government who do, and those experts need their information acknowledged and disseminated. It is quite likely that those young people presently feel alienated from our western communities, and so they fall willingly into the hands of these execrable criminals with their patter of false religion.
This is not an easy issue, by any means. It will, however, never go away unless we are able to give the young a real and serious welcome into our communities. The Bush/Cheney refusal to even consider the motives and concerns of these young people is an utter failure, and the Trump approach of isolating us from the world is even worse. We need to reach out, and any more delay in doing so will guarantee that the criminal slaughters will continue.