, Gloucester, MA

May 20, 2013

Letters: Trying to make sense out of 'terrorism'

Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

Recent letters nattering about “terrorism” present a delicious confluence.

Mr. Mahieu (”Terror attacks: Is worst yet to come?”, the Times, May 14) says he was in Birmingham, Ala. He neglected to mention whether he was with the oppressed or the oppressors and did not mention the relevance. Does he think where you are born and raised matters more than the injustices seen?

No one can ever know how many attacks by thugs, ideologists, and the deluded did not happen. We can give unwarranted credit to any number of various agencies from the village level up to the national level. Should we?

We do know by examining various records that we have 30,000 citizens killed a year just by “guns” each year over the past several years. Other methods of murder exist and have been used. We just don’t pay close attention to the quieter methods.

Indirectly, Mr. Mahieu asks if the “worst” is yet to come in our lifetimes. I cannot answer this. However, I am confident that when our sun begins its final death throes in a few thousand million years, all life on this planet will finally die. I would offer this as the “worst” event for us and all our relatives.

Mr. Tuvim (”Islamic terrorism and the Cold War,” Letters, the Times, also, May 14) has a few enlightening words to offer as well. He, as many others have been, is concerned about the repetition of history. A brief dip into the theory of cyclic repetitions of events suggests something else. Cycles happen. People forget and fail to recognize the re-occurrence. Do I need to simplify this further?

Other topics were mentioned with no coherent linkage or with unsupported comments. When I read that he thought Reagan won the Cold War, I wondered why economists were predicting the collapse of both nations at that time. We lucked out. Russia and the neighboring republics realized they were essentially bankrupt before we were forced to the same conclusion about our indebtedness.

I think religion plays a part since I hear so many conflicting sides saying it must be so. A better analysis of our problems exists; but, unhappily, that exploration requires courage, honesty, the concept of personal fallibility, and an awareness that we all can be in error.

Mr. Cook is often attacked for the ideas, ideals, beliefs, and moral position in his letters. Rarely are his values challenged by rational discourse.

Isn’t that a sad commentary about our society and those we consider as “critics?”