Duterte’s comment about shooting insurgent women “down there” really raised a storm, as expected from someone like him. It does after all reflect the culture of those parts, with sexism and rural crassness. I agree it didn’t need to be said that way. But even if Duterte simply said, “then shoot them,” that would still raise outrage from the “disente.” But indeed, some people laughed and perhaps agree that terrorists should just be shot. I don’t laugh, but I’ll admit, I tend to agree as well.
This article started out as an attempt to answer the debate on the causes of terrorism, so I’ll go that way first. Poverty and capitalist exploitation are often cited as causes of terrorism. Supporters of these views would espouse poverty alleviation and anti-capitalist movements as solutions. This would lead to SJWs (social justice warriors) saying, give dole-outs, give to the “poor” what they want, force money from the rich, etc. But this is not the real motivation of terrorists, as I see it.
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This observation should be common already about terrorists: the leaders, the ones who start the terrorist agenda itself, are usually educated and not poor. Bin Laden and other Al Qaida leaders, people in Northern Irish terrorism, in Arab-Palestinian terrorist groups, nearby Southeast Asian terrorism, those who formed the CPP-NPA and Muslim insurgencies, including Hapilon and Maute, received formal education.
Being educated however does not mean they have common sense. Some “educated” people seem to develop delusions of grandeur. They begin to believe that their vision of a “better world” is superior to everyone else’s. And when they realize people don’t always subscribe to their views, they get hurt and all that, their search for validation is ruined… you know the drill. Pusong mamon (cake heart) people don’t like it when others have a different or even opposing opinion. So they decide that the solution is to use force, that they must eliminate or subjugate those who disagree with them. And, in order to do that more successfully, they seek to put themselves into power. A terrorist initiative is born.
Thus, I have concluded that terrorists want power and control first of all.
The other theories about poverty, climate and related do not hold water on why terrorists groups are formed. Poverty may be a factor in why people such as farmers would join terrorist groups – but as cannon fodder. The founders of terrorist groups are not poor people. They take advantage of poorer people and manipulate them into becoming their henchmen.
Look at Daesh (the should-be name of ISIS). What they wanted to do was set up caliphates – effectively states – all over the world. This means they want to rule over people and dictate them, and in a harsh fashion, knowing the nature of Arab culture and Shariah law. If they want their own territory and own state, then they want power.
Yes, when terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center in 2001, they didn’t take over the country. But they felt power over people in sowing fear into them through an attack on their home soil. One would argue, what about the times when terrorists simply demanded the release of prisoners? That’s only part of the story. The prisoners they wanted released were likely terrorists themselves, and once out, would also return to their sinister activities in trying to gain power.
The desire for power is the great hubris of the human race. It is probably the root of all abuse and corruption in the world. But power isn’t just held by the ones in government halls or celebrities who are worshiped and applauded in society. It is also held by private people, especially those who are moneyed and “educated.” Indeed, such people are thought to be the actual funders of terrorist activities.
There are terrorists… and there are people who act like terrorists. Or, at least people who subscribe to the same idea, that their ways are superior and they should force their way on others as a hegemony, and anyone who disagrees should be put down. People in mass media could be guilty of this. SJWs can subscribe to terrorist ideals, such as the many youths led astray by the New People’s Army, among them Jo Lapira. One of the most laughable things to hear from them is that their rights are being violated; yeah, sure, except that they are among the greatest violators of human rights. For example, many of the pawns they deceive with “you can change the world” drivel, like Lapira, are sent to the frontlines to die.
Perhaps these people need more education, the right kind. This would include lessons of how validation is a useless thing, how pride leads to a fall, how “social justice” isn’t what it seems, that the world isn’t yours to control, and more. Indeed, it would also learning to accept that their ideals and ideologies don’t deserve to be a hegemony or dominant force. It’s what GRP has been giving pride-addicts; humble pie. Before you want the world to be a better place, you have to eat your own humble pie and give up seeking control over others. Instead, change your own world; work with your own life and do what you can to help and be a worthy example to others. Instead of force, inspire others with better, more meaningful ways to change the world. One article says involving youth in civics and community activities helps reduce the likelihood of being radicals, probably because it teaches them the concept of responsibility.
So some people would say, be merciful to the terrorists, just capture and “indoctrinate” them to accept the world. Teach them love and honey and flowers. Okay… but what if, after so many attempts to convince them to stop their violence, they don’t budge? They won’t change, they still believe in destroying the parts of the world that don’t agree with them. Thus, many people would agree that the only good terrorist is a dead one. In the end, if a young insurgent is charging at you with a gun, chances are they’re not doing it to have their gun autographed. Better to beat them to the punch, or more appropriately, to the shot.
I believe, as my cohorts here do, that what Filipinos embrace as their culture is what actually pulls the country down. And those who seem to be anti-dictators, who may also believe themselves to be “heroes,” are the real dictators.