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Upside Down Under

By Marvin Baker, a new weekly column in The Kenmare News


What do you think it will take?

Posted 5/12/15 (Tue)

We keep seeing reports on the TV news about ISIS and how these hoodlums continue to get news coverage for carrying out cowardly attacks.

The latest was last Sunday night in Garland Texas when two terrorists attacked an event going on in a public school.
Both were shot on sight and ISIS later claimed responsibility.

These people are getting blown to bits, yet ISIS continues to recruit. I’ve said it before in this space, but what could possibly be the appeal in that?

It’s a strange process, one that is extremely difficult to imagine, let alone understand. I would think that young people, no matter who they are or where they live, would want to better themselves, not face a 75 percent chance of  being killed or maimed on a battlefield. 

Terrorism isn’t a new phenomenon and has been around since recorded history began. But there has been only one other time in the history of mankind where autrocitites, similar to those ISIS has carried out, have occurred and that was Europe in the 1930s.

We can go all the way back to the 1400s in Romania where Vlad Dracula impaled his enemies to seek a historical reputation against them. He was actually the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel, “Dracula.”

On Christmas Eve, 1865, six confederate veterans formed the Ku Klux Klan. It progressed into the 1920s, intimidating African Americans.

In 1914, Gavrilo Princip assassinated Arch Duke Ferdinand that set off World War I. Conspiracy theorists believe he was linked to the assassination by enemies of Austria/Hungary while others thought he was just a nut case with a weapon.

We all know about Adolph Hitler and what he did to the Jews in Europe. Up until now, that was the worst of terrorism.

What many of us don’t know is that Josef Stalin was responsible for killing tens of thousands of Russians during his reign from the 1920s into the early 1950s.

American history doesn’t consider Stalin evil like Hitler because the Soviet Union was an ally of the United States in World War II to defeat the German war machine.

In the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s, narcoterrorism sprang up in Colombia which amounted to nothing more than violence to extract political concessions.

Also in the 1960s, the Tamil Tigers surfaced as a terrorist group in Sri Lanka and still exist today. The Canadian government is closely watching a Tamil Tiger cell that exists in Toronto.

In 1963, the Front de Liberation du Quebec began using bombings, assassinations and kidnappings in an attempt to intimidate the Canadian government into allowing Quebec to become independent.

Over time it was realized the violence wasn’t doing any good so it was changed to a political strategy and the group became known as the Parti Quebecois. That too has failed despite massive rallys.

The Irish Republican Army was responsible for a multitude of bombings and assassinations and kidnappings in England. For many years Americans were skeptical of traveling in England because you just never knew where the next bomb was going to explode.
In December 1993, after nearly 40 years of terrorist acts against British citizens, the IRA and the UK came to peace.

Pol Pot was a Cambodian socialist revolutionary who led the Khmer Rouge from 1963 to 1997.  His leadership was one of terrorism. During his reign, one-eighth of the Cambodian population was killed off for a variety of reasons that included prison-like working conditions. 

Throughout history all of the known terrorists and their organizations were either killed off or faded away into oblivion. 
But how about now, how does this brand of terrorism stop?

ISIS is being severely shelled with bombs that have pinpoint accuracy. Their infrastructure is nearly completely destroyed. 
So there really can’t be much of an organization remaining. 

But there is most likely only one message ISIS will understand and that’s total annhilation. 

It’s apparent that these “lone wolves” with ISIS claiming responsibility was a scare tactic in Garland, Texas. Wherever and whenever they attack a “soft target” like they usually do, they will be met with resistance, like in Garland, and they will be killed or live the rest of their lives in prison. What could possibly be the appeal in that?

It’s ironic that in 1987, Iran, now a state sponsor of terrorism, proposed the definition of terrorism. Iran personifies its idea.