Monday, January 29, 2018

Our Terrorist Cell

I'm sitting here in the evening, it's raining outside in Bremerton, Washington. I'm watching Netflix, a show called, Peaky Blinders. Great show. About 19th century England. Gangs. Reminiscent of  The Wind in That Shakes the Barley, Perhaps, especially because of actor Cillian Murphy and his being Irish and all, being born in County Cork (I rather liked visiting Cork). and all that.

It's no secret I'm rather partial to the Irish. Being half myself, all on my dad's side of the family. Having had a rather, albeit confused, understanding as a youth of my ethnic responsibilities and well... I do understand enjoying a good conspiracy. Especially for a good reason and all. A good... guerilla fight against greater odds, can be inspiring. Even, addicting. Especially to the disaffected and those who have little control over their lives, or who simply feel that way.

Early in high school I had learned about the troubles from a documentary. I'd long known I was half Irish, that my dad was Irish. I grew up with my mother, after they divorced when I was three. She always celebrated St. Patrick's Day. I remember a banner of cut out, green, "Erin Go Bragh" (or, Éirinn go Brách, Meaning "Ireland forever" in Gaelic) every year hanging in the house.

I hardly ever saw my dad after that and never did after I was sixteen, until he died in 1988. I doubt he ever had a thought himself about Ireland. But I did. I even tried to talk friends, fellow students in tenth grade into going with me to Ireland to fight in the Troubles. Well, it didn't happen. I had no money to get there. I doubt they'd have even wanted me. But that, is a story for another time. Or not.

Anyway, that's how I was at that time. I even wrote a screenplay about what I was like back then. The Teenage Bodyguard, is about a situation I got myself into just after graduating high school. Over the course of a week in 1974, I protected a murder witness from the local mafia.

Great story and a screenplay that is being liked every time it's seen or evaluated. "So why isn't it on the screen already somewhere", one reviewer asked in their review from BlueCat screenplay contest. Another from The Blacklist coverage said it was "a viable project that should be pursued". And so I am.

I kept finding myself in interesting situation back then. I don't know why. Mainly, because people kept asking me to act as a bodyguard for them. First was that frightened woman who asked me to protect her for a week when I was eighteen from some murderers she had worked with at Tacoma's first topless bar, The Tiki, run by the Carbone crime family.

A year later at nineteen, my own mother asked me to be my little brother's bodyguard in Manhattan. She was afraid if he got roughed up during a robbery, he could die inbeing so thin and fragile with liver cancer at the time. There had also been a rash of apartment break ins at that time. So I slept in our small studio apartment on the floor, with my .357 magnum next to me just in case someone tried to break in at 2AM or something.

I had also protected a variety of others off and on over the years. Gamblers wit cash coming to town, a big construction magnate's horse farm at the end of a road where I lived for a while, and so on.

My point being, I do get it. This whole, desire to go to battle, take on great odds, test yourself and live the life of excitement and adventure. it's kind of dumb for most, but I get the attraction.

As I watch this great show (Peaky Blinders), and sip some red wine (yes, there's Guinness in the fridge, but it's wine tonight, forgive me St. Guinness), I understand the feeling that there is no downtown here to go to, to meet locally with other frustrated or angry conspirators in some shady bar, to have talks, to sneak to covert meetings, to talk about how the government is abusing us unfairly and unjustly. How our enemies really have to go. At all costs. Or any. All of that. Not unlike our Founding Fathers did in local Freemason lodges, mostly held at or above local public (drinking) houses (pubs?).

I do get all of that. I understand that feeling. That focus. The mystery. The excitement. The addictive fear. The call to a cause greater than oneself. The ability to be something, right now, immediately. To evoke change when nothing else is happening in one's life. To achieve something now with power when no one else will give you that kind of responsibility or command over other human beings. Even to the point of taking their lives. Even if they are innocent.

I get all that.Well, not so much the taking of innocent lives. I really don't get that. Especially when they are your own. But I get it for a young testosterone filled young man, or woman. Or for one whose family and loved ones are indeed being abused if not murdered by the state as others in other countries have had to suffer through. I get that. I really do.

I doubt it's much different for terrorists in other countries, even in our own country in how some can misguidedly perceive our own reality in America as deserving of terrorism..The home of their ancestry. Maybe. But then, not a lot of Native Americans are terrorists. Some who are not even of that abused ancestry but who understand, empathize, with them. Who feel compassion for their seemingly just cause. Like non Muslims who go to fight with them.

I get all that.

The trouble is... it's nonsense. Mostly. For the most part. 99% of it anyway.

Those are the rumblings of a young man high on testosterone so much of the time. Give them a call to arms... oh my God. They will be there!

But there is another side. There will be those they harm. The innocent. Those they blind themselves about but who do matter, and greatly so. They become blinded by the fog of war and idealism. But not of conscience. And so innocents die. For no good reason.

Not until their hacked minds, hacked by disingenuous ones who put not themselves into danger but those of a younger cohort. Where justice turns into criminal actions and heroes become terrorists. There is brainwashing going on. Media is part of the problem. those manipulating it are more so. Be they Russian hackers joyriding or actually paid by Putin. Or Islamic terrorist leaders or simply... Facebook.

I'm glad I lived through those cold war years. I'm also glad I didn't have to grow up in Belfast or an Ireland under British rule where my ancestors were so abused and genocide wasn't a ridiculous word to banter about. When some Irish tried to eat grass due to starvation during the potato famine, where the dead and emaciated were found in fields with mouths stained green.

My terrorist cell is based in words, not guns, in political actions, not bombs.

 It is civilized, not barbaric. I'll kill no innocents. My terrorist cell, does not exist. Because I do not believe in terrorizing human beings. Or anyone. Or anything. It's a bully behavior, that of an immature mind, or mindset.

There is a time for violence. To be sure. But it is far less often than many would like to admit.

And that includes our American born terrorists. Those Christian misguided fools who have killed too many in our country already and should never again. And then there is simply mental illness, and social illness.

Do Act. But at some point we have to see as a race of intelligent beings that death simply isn't always the answer. While in some countries it may be necessary, at certain times, in ours it simply is not.

We have a disease in this country. It is conservatism. It is binary thinking. It is in authoritarian attitudes, having them, or adoring them. It is poor priorities. It is extremists. It is the far right politically motivated. It is the ignorant, the poorly educated, the incorrectly educated, those who believe in alternate facts, alternate realities, alternate morality, alternator mental health.

We need instead to seek out our best nature in life, not our worst.

We need to bring down our worst, and simply refuse to be a part of it.

#terrorism #peace #isis #racism

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