I’m sure you can all agree with me on that the United States has been the victim of a horrible act of terrorism.
Life, for some people, changed in unimaginable ways following Sept. 11, while for the great majority of us it has relatively little impact, save for that cute little color-coded “terror-alert” system the government has implemented.
Despite this heightened state of alert, we live relatively carefree lives.
That is not so for the people of countries plagued by terrorism on a regular basis, and believe me when I tell you that there are a lot.
People all over India, tourists in the Philippines or poor villagers in Nepal all share the common characteristic of being targets of unreasonable, brutal thugs who want nothing more than money and power for themselves; at any cost to others.
Here are a few examples:
India: You’ve probably heard about the terrorist activity in and related to Kashmir. This has been a thorn, a rather bloody one at that, in the side of the Indian authorities and innocent civilians since independence from Britain.
The pattern of terrorism is pretty consistent: Radical Islamist separatists from Kashmir massacre everybody in a Christian Church, or kill dozens/hundreds of Hindu pilgrims. The Hindu majority responds by rioting and beating an equal amount of Muslims to death in their ghettos. As you might be able to see, this one is going to go on for a while.
Nepal: The situation in this country revolves around pseudo-Maoists who claim to be fighting against the corrupt monarchy, but in reality are simply concerned with massacring villagers and stealing as much as they can.
They have been held responsible for numerous bombings in the Kathmandu area as well. The problem with countering these terrorists is that the government, a monarchy, is to impoverish, inefficient and corrupt to deal them a proper deathblow.
Algeria: radical Islamists from the southern part of the country have plagued this country since its independence from France. The fairly secular government and military make it a habit of ensuring that these extremists do not gain power and in doing so, further polarize national sentiments.
The groups involved often ride out of the desert and wipe out entire villages of men, women and children. Some of you may have seen the photo of the young boy suspended in a well by a meat hook through his head; yes, these were the people responsible and they are the bane of Algeria.
Philippines: Again the problem of terrorism in this country stems from radical Islamists, only this time they are not as vicious, only greedier. The terrorists in this country are not at all unified and in fact range from the former communist New People’s Army to the Islamist militant Abu Sayef separatists.
The targets of terrorism here are usually Western tourists, government troops, and Catholic churchgoers. Their activities range from kidnapping to, again, massacring of people as they attend mass.
I was hoping to illustrate a few more examples of countries with serious terrorism problems, but there are just too many. So don’t forget next time a heightened state of alert is issued, that it is really a walk in the park compared to the terrorized masses across the world.