17 November 2015

Dreamer’s World - Fear, Anyone?

Living in the DC area has it’s advantages and disadvantages. There is no shortage of things to do and places to see. This area is full of interesting people from all over the world, and it is always invigorating to find out all the things we have in common.
On the bad side, the traffic here is beyond awful. I am glad that we live “inside the Beltway” and have easy access to the Metro system that can take us almost anywhere in a short time and save us the hassle of driving. I am fortunate because we found a place where almost every necessity is within walking distance of our apartment here in Alexandria. Although we don’t go out as often as we used to, it is still important to Hal and I that the options are always available to us.
I have never understood the appeal of the suburbs, perhaps because I grew up in a small town where there was not a lot to do at the best of times. To live beyond the Beltway seems a waste to me. To get anywhere means dealing with the traffic and taking more time than usual for anything. It is my personal opinion, but I think that the “white flight” phenomenon has become so ingrained into the American consciousness that we deny that it even exists anymore.
Of course, being near the nation’s capital means that we are subjected to the drumbeats of FEAR that the media seems to enjoy inflicting on the population. This week is no exception due to the alleged threat following the terrorist attacks in Paris last Friday. My heart aches for those affected and for their families. After that phase of dealing with a tragedy has passed, we are left to deal with the question of how do we respond in the future? Sadly, we seem hell-bent on repeating the same failed policies that produced these terrorists in the first place.
The local media here cannot get enough of the FEAR stories. I truly despise the media on account of actions like this. These stories serve no purpose than to promote a failed agenda which will result in more tragedies in the future. I do not claim to be the smartest person in the world, but I do have my observations.
We have followed a failed policy of military intervention around the world and wrapped it up as “defending freedom”. I question the entire approach. When we invade a country, or bomb it, we always want to claim that we are doing this because we are the “friends” of the people and that our actions are designed to somehow help them.
I question how this can be valid. What does a person think when their country is invaded or bombed. Honestly, I don’t think that their first thought is that this is the action of a “friend”. The bloodshed and destruction that follows are the problem of those people to deal with, we are not affected and our own leaders tell us to live our lives as normally as possible. The implications of these messages are one of the root causes of terrorism, in my opinion.
We balk at sending troops into other countries now, because we seem to have finally learned that ideology and religious extremism cannot be fought with weapons. These are fought with ideas, sadly we seem to have run out of those. When the people try to escape from the hell that we helped to create, we then act as if the “friends” are our new enemies and attempt to have them in the country. Remember that these people are fleeing the terror that we helped to create.
And so, this evening I write this living in an area where so many people are obligated to feel afraid. Everywhere you turn are more reminders of what we have to look out for. Anyone who doesn’t look “American” is a suspect without any evidence necessary. Is this what we want this country to end up as? A paragon of paranoia and FEAR?