Terrorist attacks (and how to stop them)
I was planning to list the attacks I could remember, Nice, Istanbul, Brussels, and make a comment. I put ‘terrorist attacks 2016’ into Google (note I still can’t say ‘I googled’: Google is a name not a verb) and found I’d forgotten, or more correctly was unaware of, the majority of the attacks. Stand by to be amazed and saddened. There were 1,813 terrorist attacks in 2016, killing 15,976 human beings, and affecting many, many thousands more. A large percentage of these were in areas of the world where armed conflict is going on. There is little can be done to prevent these attacks until a solution to the conflict is found. And I’m sure in many cases a solution can be found. Easy to say I know, but doable./strong>
How? The first step, and probably the most difficult step, is to make sure each side thoroughly understands the other side’s point of view. Then bring the parties together and find a solution: this must not be a compromise, it must be what is called in business jargon a ‘win-win’ solution. Again, sounds easy, but with determination on the part of the mediator it could be done, not in every case, but the majority.
Who could be the mediator? Well, excluding any SuperHero or earthly representative of God, the job would fall to the United Nations (this was after all the reason behind the formation of the UN after World War II*); or a coalition of countries. The mediator would have to persuade the conflicting parties to accept a solution. Persuasion would sometimes be through negotiation, sometimes through threats, and sometimes (many times I suspect unfortunately) through force. The mediators would have one big advantage on their side: in most cases it’s the two sides’ leaders who are the most difficult to persuade to end the conflict, the people want peace.
What about terrorist attacks in non-conflict areas?
More to follow!
* Article 1 of the original UN Charter reads “To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace.”