VIOLENCE BEGETS VIOLENCE
I have several friends whose beliefs scare me. They believe that western governments’ foreign policies have nothing to do with terrorism. They see western countries as innocent victims. Western countries interference in foreign lands is not connected at all to any terrorist attacks.
“It’s not interference,” said one friend. “The West is improving countries by spreading democracy.”
My friends believe that western countries’ motives are altruistic with no interest in exploiting a country’s oil or other resources.
One of the meanings of blowback is the unintended adverse results of a political action or situation. The CIA admitted that 911 was blowback. My friends call blowback “bullshit.” One friend said, “The Muslims are a bunch of savages, with their backwards culture, and attack us because they’re jealous of our freedoms.”
I am not justifying terrorist attacks. I understand why they happen: blowback. Violence begets violence.
It scares me that lots of people, including political leaders, believe what my friends believe. It scares me that lots of people, including terrorists, believe that violence is the answer.
“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy, instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.