Israel is at the front cusp of their third intifada. This one thus far could be labeled the brick, rock, block and fire bottle intifada since the attacks are being implemented using large rocks, bricks, cinderblocks, and gasoline filled bottles including a flaming cloth wick (Molotov cocktails). The mainstream media world-wide tends to refer to these attacks by completely omitting the Molotov cocktails and belittling the size of the rocks by using the terms stones or even pebbles. They also refer to those who are launching these projectiles as youths or young teens when in actuality there are young men up through age thirty-five and some are young teens. What they also tend to omit is the use of slings and that many of the road rock attacks are done by launching the large rocks from a speeding car at vehicles traveling in the opposite direction adding the speed of both vehicles to the impact providing often well over seventy miles an hour speed to the impacting rock compared to the windshield it impacts and often pierces.
Going back there has been two previous intifada in Israel. The first intifada was implemented by Yasser Arafat and consisted mostly on rock attacks, stabbings and shootings. The second intifada was called by Yasser Arafat and had been planned before he joined in negotiations which he entered planning on walking out and not accepting any offer even if it gave him everything he asked for. The offer he received would have returned 95% of the West Bank, all of Gaza, the eastern half of Jerusalem and exchanges of land to make up lands equal to the 5% of the West Bank being retained by Israel. Yasser Arafat walked out of the negotiations after hearing the offer without even giving any reason for his refusal or making any counter offer or amendment to the offer. Madeline Albright was filmed by news cameras chasing after Arafat pleading for him to please return and negotiate promising they could find an agreement he would accept no matter what he desired. He completely ignored her as if he had to accept anything he would not have been able to implement his intifada and he had already planned everything out. This second intifada was extremely violent consisting of car bombs, suicide bombers, suitcase and carrying bags left in public places containing bombs. Could such murder and mayhem actually ever come to Europe or America? That depends on certain conditions and actions that are taken in the near future and is worth an investigation.
The probability of Muslim terror has been found to be related to the percentage of unassimilated Muslim population within the general population. The theory is that when the unassimilated Muslim percentage grows to between ten and twenty percent and there is a potential for radicalization being fomented within the population of sufficient strength, it is likely to cause levels of terror attacks which would be perceived as a societal problem. This alone is insufficient as people do not act in such an antisocial manner without stimulus and causation. This could be initiated by sermons from radical Imams giving sermons in the Mosque or radicalized agenda being taught in the school affiliated with the Mosque. This has been witnessed in numerous locations through northern and central Africa where nations are divided with a strong Muslim centered population bordering a strong Christian or Animist population where most of the violence occurs on the border regions. So, should the population densities begin to attain levels conducive to potential, what forms would such terror take on?
To be completely honest, the Boston Marathon bombing is indicative of what can be expected. The targets would be more varied with any place where people congregate becoming a viable target. Such places would be restaurants on special days where there would be people waiting for a table and thus congregated in close proximity. IHOP on a Sunday morning or virtually any restaurant on Mother’s Day would be examples. Also fairs, circuses, sporting events, or grand opening events, especially new shopping malls would also be inviting targets. Targeting would often tend to be aimed toward places with ties to the community and places which people would normally frequent so as to maximize the affects at making people feel uneasy when doing normal everyday life events. This is what is behind targeting family eateries, shopping centers, sports events, and anywhere families would tend to congregate. The aim is to make life so uncertain that everyday life becomes a questionable event and thus public fears are maximized. An attentive and aware public can minimize the threats by learning the signs and indicators which should attract suspicions and then having law enforcement able to make a rapid response and determination quickly with removal or other resolving of any threat with minimal interruption to normalcy. The ability to interdict terror attempts is the best solution that can be applied as it minimizes the threat and that takes away the fear factor which is the entire motivation behind such attacks. Of course the best way to address the potential for terror is to facilitate the assimilation of all peoples making them integrate and become an accepted member of the community. The efforts of every community should assist assimilation and incorporation of all members and peoples as integrated, functioning members of an open and accepting blend of neighborhoods. Fortunately, America has a strong history of assimilation and acceptance.
Beyond the Cusp
What will follow is just as much a stab in the dark as anything else. On another front, it is an answer to a question I have heard asked many times and then ignored. That question is why today’s war veterans are having such difficulty when the veterans of World War II came home and appeared to simply return to civilian life. The very first and possibly the biggest single item that the rest of us need to know is that we cannot know how to treat them or address their problems; only they can care for each other. And that is the crux of the difference between the veterans of today’s modern wars and those from World War II. It has everything to do with having time to ramp down from a heighten state of mind and sensory overload to a normal life situation where your life is not dependent on split second decisions which can and do come often with no warning, simply a foreboding if you are fortunate. So, how is it so different now compared with seventy years ago?
Item one is that during World War II the soldiers were not allowed to come home leaving the battlefield ongoing and unresolved. They completed their task and had won their war where today we drop troops into an ongoing war and then send them home with the resolution of their fight unresolved. After World War II the soldiers arrived home to victory parades and the news never talked about an unfinished job, there was resolution and the soldiers were welcomed as heroes. In today’s warfare we send soldiers into the war zone and then pull them out leaving the fighting unresolved. There is no finality and then when they hear the news they are reminded that they left the job unfinished. They also left others, their brothers in arms, close friends who are more than just friends behind still facing the terrors and threats day in and day out. The veterans from World War II did not leave comrades behind still fighting the battles, the war had been won and they had experienced a finality that goes missing today. But it is more than that.
When World War II ended the troops did not return home within hours. They did not leave the battlefield and within twenty-four hours get placed almost instantly back in what we call a normal civilian setting. The World War II veterans went through weeks still in Europe waiting for their transport to be arranged. They were kept with their units and the others with whom they had fought side-by-side with. Then, after weeks at the staging areas they were placed on ships that took an additional number of weeks before reaching their home. They were welcomed by a relieved and honoring citizenry who applauded their accomplishments and welcomed them home. There was the long transit time with their buddies that allowed for them to unwind and to give each other the exact and understanding care they needed. When our veterans come home now some are even transferred to a new unit upon arrival which completely cuts them off from their main source of help. They are dumped into a whole new paradigm without the down-time they need and too often away from those who can best understand and commiserate with their problems and difficulties. That brings us to the next problem, who treats their difficulties.
No doctor and no medication can replace a friend who was there next to you listening. Nothing that comes in a pill bottle or from a new and fresh face can share the emotions, memories, and particulars the same as the others who were there with you. And absolutely nothing can replace time, simply time to deal as a community with the community the shared traumas and scars that warfare places on the mind and soul of a soldier. Psychiatry does not have the base knowledge or depth of understanding to deal in a positive and healthy manner with the reprogramming and deprogramming the soldier needs to experience and the forgiving, sympathy, release of pain, understanding, and so many unspoken intangibles beyond the ability of the uninitiated to understand, needed and necessary to allow the soldier to return to what we call a normal life and society. Perhaps the only ones equipped to handle the situations and possess the specific abilities, knowledge, and solutions are the very same soldiers who they had shared the experiences and counted upon to protect and keep each other alive, trusting lives and honor in shared combat experiences can help one another with the adjustment back to so-called normal life. Many soldiers will never be able to totally return and will suffer from memories and other difficulties but most are able to reach a position of control and understanding of what is necessary for them to live among and within normative society. We do not do the soldier much help by bringing them home so suddenly and quickly as the fast pace allowed by modern transportation. The World War II veterans had the possibly unintentional good fortune of a long and slow trip home aboard a troop ship with their comrades and fellow veterans and most often with the same unit and people who had fought with them side-by-side. They were allowed the camaraderie that just might have been exactly the treatment they were most in need of receiving. The one thing that is becoming evident, the methods we are currently pursuing and the prescription cure-alls are not working and a new approach is most definitely necessary. For those of us who wish to help, may I suggest one simply cure, try listening and say nothing, just listen and smile remembering that these young soldiers went and did what was required at our bidding and we owe them more than we can ever repay, far more.
Beyond the Cusp
It has been a colloquial truism that no good deed goes unpunished. The Government version of this is when you mollify one group’s demands you will create a new group with opposite demands. This is exactly what has occurred in Israel with their attempt to make life more affordable for young families by lowering the age where children are allowed into the public education system. As an immediate consequence, kindergartens now have younger students as they had to be extended to accommodate these younger children. This caused an easily solved situation, a need for more kindergarten teachers. This was no sooner resolved before a far stickier problem was raised. The teachers who were given responsibility for younger children are refusing to be responsible for diaper duty. Honestly, I really cannot blame them. As a grandparent, I love my grandchildren, even the youngest among them, as when diaper duty time comes around, I simply feign to have completely forgotten how to change a diaper. Put a diaper on the precious young one using a customized version requiring only one safety-pin and you are relieved of such responsibility on grounds of senility.
Despite the above dodge for diaper duty, grandparents and other retired individuals are vital part of an obvious solution. Since the teachers union very likely will back the teachers one-hundred-percent on their refusal to take on this sticky problem, my suggestion would be to ask for volunteers to act as teachers diaper aides. Actually, assign these volunteers to care for all hygiene related obstacles the teachers have opted to decline. I feel that once the schools let it be known that they require teachers’ aides to assist with the youngest and newest of the school’s pupils, one of two scenarios will play out. The first is the obvious marshaling of a ready, willing, able and enthusiastic small army of retired and other volunteers will be lining up actually anxious to garner one of what I believe will be prized positions. The other scenario is that upon seeing the large number of volunteers who are actually anxious and willing to give complete and loving care to these children, the teachers just might reconsider as for many of these youngest children a teacher is less necessary than an honest caretaker. Either way, the children will likely receive better care either from caring and loving volunteers or teachers intimidated into performing everything necessary to fulfill the requirements caused by the extended school coverage. Nothing like somebody willing and able to take your job and not requiring a large paycheck or desiring a union to put a good scare by the threat of being replaced to push people to perform not only at a higher level but also willing to go to whatever ends may be required. Either way, the children will hopefully gain the best care and treatment not only available, but the best care and treatment possible.
Beyond the Cusp