How did terrorism, which has been around for centuries, go from a sporadic, often localized, atrocity to a global threat in the 21st Century? Are terrorists recruiting more vigorously? Do terrorist have more reasons to hate? Or have terrorists gotten more support than ever before?
A close look at some events in recent years seems to indicate it's the latter. What's most disturbing, though, is that the greatest motivational support has come not from internal sources or Arab countries, but from a somewhat unexpected source -- the United Nations.
To understand the progression of events leading up to global terrorism, it would help to look at the motives of some mass killers in the U.S., which are somewhat similar to those of international terrorists.
On December 5, 2007, Robert Hawkins, 19, walked into a Westroads Mall in Omaha, Nebraska, and killed eight people and himself. His suicide note read, in part, 'Everyone will remember me as some sort of monster. ... [But] just think ... I'm gonna be ... famous.'
Michael Welner, an associate professor of psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine, pointed out, ''My fame is more important than your life,' that's basically what he said.'
An FBI investigation into the infamous 1999 Columbine massacre showed that Hawkins demented yearning for fame and recognition was not unique. The public perception of the Columbine killers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, was they were lonely outcasts out for revenge on those who bullied them. But three months after the massacre, the FBI convened a summit in Leesburg, Va., that included world-renowned mental health experts, as well as Supervisory Special Agent Dwayne Fuselier, the FBI's lead Columbine investigator and a clinical psychologist. They're conclusion was disturbingly different from public perception.
Not lonely outcasts at all, Klebold and Harris regularly hung out and partied with a circle of friends. They laughed at petty school shooters and bragged about dwarfing the Oklahoma City bombing. Klebold boasted on a video about inflicting 'the most deaths in U.S. history.' Rather than being an angry man being picked on, Harris, according to Fuselier, had a messianic-grade superiority complex and was out to punish the human race for its appalling inferiority.
So, on April 20, 1999, after a year of planning, Harris and Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Jefferson County, Colorado, and killed 12 students, a teacher, and wounded 23, before committing suicide. This became the fourth-deadliest school killing in U.S. history.
Had their wiring functioned properly, they would have wiped out 600 people in a massive propane bombing of the cafeteria. In addition to gunning down fleeing survivors, they planned on setting off car bombs to finish off rescue workers and reporters.
According to Agent Fuselier, it wasn't just fame they were after. They were after infamy of global proportions. Their aim was to create a nightmare so devastating and horrendous that the entire world would shudder at their power.
Now, try to imagine this: The parents of Hawkins, Harris and Klebold are asked about their sons' atrocities and respond that they're very proud of their sons and hope their siblings would some day do the same. Then, schools around the country hang up pictures of the three murderers, hailing them as heros and role models.
Imagine further, one shooter survives, is brought to justice, and the judge finds his 'grievances' plausible. And not only does the judge not convict him, but reprimands the cops and security personnel for using excessive force.
How do you suppose such an insane scenario would impact mass killings? If people are willing to die and murder others for infamy, it's pretty safe to say that honoring such monsters as heros and restraining law enforcement personnel with censures would in all likelihood cause mass killings to skyrocket.
Unfortunately, you don't have to imagine all this. This scenario has been played out in real life, although not (yet) in the U.S. And the results have been devastating.
It's a well documented fact that Palestinian parents have often spoken proudly of their suicide-murderer children and openly implored their other children to follow suit. Palestinians customarily hang up pictures of suicide murderers in schools and laud them as heros and roll models. Palestinian murderers are often promised bliss in the hereafter. And, to top it all off, families of Palestinian terrorist have for years received cash rewards from some Arab leaders for the very act of murder-suicide.
How well have these incentives and encouragements worked? From September 2000 to September 2005, over 26,000 (average of 14 a day) terrorist attacks were perpetrated against Israeli targets. While playing down the plethora of incentives they showered upon mass murderers to perpetuate carnage, Palestinians perfected the art of spouting 'grievances' for public consumption -- things like 'oppression' and 'occupation,' which caught on like the Columbine 'being bullied' rumors. And, thus, terrorism in the Middle East grew into more than a cottage industry.
It then took the ingenuity and creativity of an international 'peacekeeping' organization -- the UN -- to bring this deadly game to the world arena.
The intifada that began in September 2000 was trumpeted by the Palestinians as a response to then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's walk on the Temple Mount, a Holy site for Muslims and others. The UN convened in October of that year and passed Resolution 1322, the opening lines of which read, in part:
'Reaffirming the need for full respect by all of the Holy Places of the City of Jerusalem, and condemning any behaviour to the contrary,
'[the UN] Deplores the provocation [Sharon's walk] carried out at Al-Haram Al-Sharif and the subsequent violence ... ;
'[the UN] Condemns acts of violence, especially the excessive use of force against Palestinians, resulting in injury and loss of human life;'
This Resolution placed violence and total anarchy on the same level as an 'offending' walk, which is absolutely mind-boggling. According to the UN, if you walk into a house of worship where 'your kind are not welcome,' that's the same as going into someone's neighborhood and attacking anyone and everyone in sight. How many civilized people do you know who subscribe to this logic?
The Resolution, in effect, gave Palestinians the right to savagely butcher people for the slightest provocation, and restrained a victimized party from defending itself no matter how brutal the attacks against her. With the gist of this Resolution expressed repeatedly throughout the years of the intifada, the Resolution became a downright sanction of terrorism.
What's worse, Israel's use of force to defend its citizens from deadly violence is referred to in the Resolution as 'excessive' and is, in the UN's view, worthy of condemnation. This is like telling Columbine security personnel that they're use of force against would-be mass killers is excessive. Exactly how much force is excessive when you're defending yourself against being killed?
Furthermore, with the UN's definition of excessive, wouldn't Palestinian barbarism in response to a 'walk' be far more excessive? But this is never even mentioned, let alone condemned. The green-light to terrorism couldn't have been more blatant if the UN had told Palestinians, 'Go ahead, kill whomever you want, we've got you covered.'
I've heard people remark, 'Who cares what the UN says?' Personally, I don't, and wish others didn't. But the fact is the UN's utterly depraved and perverted messages were carried across the globe by the news media in what would be the equivalent of a multi-billion dollar ad campaign. There's little need to elaborate on how mass media bombardment makes an impression on the public. Just ask Coca Cola, McDonalds, Honda and many others.
One thing's for sure, it made an impression on the Palestinians. In the 12 months after Resolution 1322 was passed there were, according to the most conservative estimates, over 100 Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israel (the previous 12 months, less than a dozen).
Over the next five years, over 1000 Israelis were savagely murdered and over 6000 maimed and wounded. And, to add insult to injury, throughout this massacre of Israelis, Israel was unjustly and continually held in contempt by the UN. The Palestinians, on the other hand, despite unleashing the most inhumane carnage upon Israelis, were never condemned even once by the UN.
How do you think all this played to all the terrorist wannabes around the world? As great encouragement, no doubt.
It is in this period that, I'm convinced, terrorism got its big 'whitewash.' With such unfaltering support from the UN, terrorism was no longer a dirty word or the diabolical tool of yesteryear. Terrorism had now become an acceptable and even 'respectable' way to express real or imagined grievances. And the world was made very aware of this, over and over.
It took Osama bin Laden only one year to capitalize in a major way on this new-found license to butcher people. Not that he needed anyone's permission before. But now he could massacre as many totally innocent people as he wanted and, as long as he had a 'grievance,' he could blame his victims and even come out with dignity and respect.
So on September 11, 2001, Osama bin Laden became the most 'respected' name in some parts of the Muslim world and to who knows how many terrorist wannabes and terrorist now-decided-to-be -- all with the tacit endorsement of Kofi Annan, then-Secretary-General of the UN, and the rest of his corrupt enterprise.
By July 7, 2005, with the ripping of people on the street to shreds already redefined by the UN as being no different from protesting or striking, it's with little wonder that the London Bombers were seemingly ordinary citizens. 'I certainly think this is a new dimension,' said Peter Newman of London University's War Studies Institute. 'These are people who grew up in Britain ... a novelty we haven't seen in this country so far.'
On September 20, 2006, at the 61st UN General Assembly, Kofi Annan had the audacity to make this insulting understatement: ' ... supporters of Israel feel that it is harshly judged by standards that are not applied to its enemies, and too often this is true, particularly in some UN bodies.' In an honest and contrite speech, he would have said, 'I feel shame and regret for unjustly vilifying Israel and the United States in the eyes of the world, and unleashing global terrorism for the foreseeable future.'
The phoniness of Annan's statement became apparent only two months later at the annual 'Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People,' by the screening of a film encouraging children to glorify death and murder. In one scene, small children in a classroom shout, 'Jerusalem, I sacrifice myself to you, land of my grandfather, we will return.' (The previous year, they had a moment of silence to honor suicide murderers.) This was not a Hamas training camp -- this was the UN!
As of January 2008, we've seen several terrorist plots around the world by 'ordinary' people. And authorities fear it's only the beginning.
The damage wrought upon the world by the UN, and Kofi Annan in particular, by sanctioning terrorism is incalculable. To find another country or entity in modern history that generated so much racism, bigotry and anti-semitism on such a massive scale, you'd probably have to go back to the days of the Third Reich. If we're going to take fighting terrorism seriously, we must prosecute all those responsible for it's proliferation, regardless of what physical or legal barriers they hide behind. One step in the right direction would be to try Kofi Annan for crimes against humanity.
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