Thoughts out of season 3


A few weeks ago, one of my WP friends, wrote a post, what are you worth? 6 million dollars? that is relevant to this discussion and the link that am about to share. As you are all aware, the hostage situation in Nairobi has come to a close and families that lost loved ones will have to rebuild their lives afresh, there are businesses that have incurred serious losses and so much more and I don’t want to belittle their suffering any bit.

However, a few uncomfortable truths have to be dealt with, to see where we have come from and how humanity can move forward, how such situations can be prevented in the future. There are those among us who will argue that the government ought to be granted more surveillance powers, that security searches should increase and other such measures. I disagree totally with such propositions. These measures do not contribute to our safety in the long-term. They are temporary measures that are implemented by unthinking people. The real deal is to ensure that no society feels marginalized, oppressed and denied opportunities for self-expression. Ensuring the masses get proper education is going to ensure that our race frees itself from religious, political and other forms of bigotry.

Having said this, the question to be asked of everyone is why hasn’t there been a similar outcry for the countless and nameless Somali women, men and children who have lost their lives in the duration that the Kenya Defense Forces have been occupying Somali? Are their lives of less value? And in which planet is peace kept by killing civilians? What peace is that? As I have said before, I will say it here again, we have to re-evaluate ourselves as a race, to come up with peaceful and better ways of living with each other.

I have to admit it here, the reason am against all this senseless killing is because of self preservation: The will to live. I, however, know that nature doesn’t give a bat-shit whether I live or die. It maintains the will in the general and not the specific so that there will always be a striving to live whether I exist or not. In the meantime, while I live, I realize there are 1000 plus things trying to kill me and the odd terrorist is the least of them. Why a lot of money is wasted on the war on terror is beyond me.

Nairobi attacks: what about the casualties of Somalia’s war zone?

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

29 thoughts on “Thoughts out of season 3

  1. Good post. Thank you for the link. Education and empowerment is the right way to fix such problems. It’s not an easy answer, it’s the right one.

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  2. Part of the problem with the education you mentioned – and I agree that it is sorely needed – is that the countries that need it the most, waste their resources on religious, rather than secular education – a religion that advocates forcing others to believe as they do. I’m sure it has been determined by now, that not all of the terrorists were Kenyan.

    I’ve even heard of American recruits to Al Qaeda, and with the educational resources available in my country, the idea of that is absurd, yet true. Al Qaeda is attempting to recruit Americans, as it is far simpler for an American terrorist to infiltrate American targets, then foreign nationals – their education, which was available to them for the taking, clearly did little good.

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    • makagutu says:

      You outline a very real problem. I have seen quite a lot of literature on creationism and how the proponents threaten science education in the US of A and it worries me. It is such people, who will most likely support a religious course, as long as it is their god against other gods and are ripe for recruitment as soldiers of the various gods.

      I don’t know what can be done to help free educated people from religious inspired hate and bigotry

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  3. Mordanicus says:

    Education is the way to the downfall of religious dogmatism, therefore religious groups are attempting to sabotage education; and to replace it with indoctrination. Religious groups are interested only in temporal power.

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    • makagutu says:

      Indeed, education is a threat to religious indoctrination but the problem this starts early for most children and by the time they should be making such decisions, they are already too deep into religion.

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  4. Interesting post, Mak.
    I agree with you that education is the way forward, and probably the hardest way.
    But these attacks also make me wonder about terrorism. What goes on in the terrorist’s mind? The poor and uneducated might do the groundwork, but somewhere higher up are the people who thought up the ideology. I can’t help but think that the religious fundamentalist wants to export the barren wasteland that is inside his (or her!) head.

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    • makagutu says:

      Hello Lively, hope you are well my friend.

      You know I call these thoughts out of season inspired by Nietzsche’s Untimely meditations which he wrote both for his time and for later readers and I think the same is true for reflections on the war on terror to us presently and for future generations.

      It is hard to tell how much indoctrination has gone into the terrorist mind. I don’t know who among them is worse. The soldier who fires indiscriminately at innocent children which we call act of war and a man who fed up with all that holds others hostage and fires bullets indiscriminately?

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  5. melouisef says:

    What has happened in Kenya is absolutely frightening. But with this overwhelming greed – for power and money – this is now the measure of man. To kill and to have. Or is it to have and to kill?

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  6. ladysighs says:

    “Why a lot of money is wasted on the war on terror is beyond me.”
    So much truly is beyond us. Guilty here of just accepting and thinking there is not much I can ever do about it. Trying to stay alive.
    I do get upset at the coverage the privileged get. It has ever been so.
    As always your posts provide so much to think about.

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    • makagutu says:

      It is hard enough sometimes just trying to be alive, added to threats of violence on you or yours, existence then becomes a real pain. The coverage of the privileged upsets me too, you may think their death is special. It is funny really, about a month ago, a bus ferrying several people veered off the road and more than 40 lives were lost, no day of mourning was declared. I mean were those lives of less value? It reminds me however of Animal Farm by George Orwell where at the end of the book, the animals are resigned to saying all animals are equal but some are more equal than others!

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  7. aguywithoutboxers says:

    A valid point, my Nairobi brother, and so true. No amount of security measure is going to ensure public safety. The next terrorist action will find a loophole in any situation.

    As long as we ignore the misery and suffering of others, there will be those who advocate and implement violence. As Dr. M. L. King, Jr. warned us years ago: “As long as one of us are oppressed, none of us are truly free.”

    Much love and naked hugs!

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  8. I’d just like to add this one exclamation about the ‘believers’ to the many interesting reactions:
    “But you, if your belief makes you blessed, then act as if you were blessed, too! Your faces have always done more damage to your belief than our reasons.” (Nietzsche, Human, All-Too Human II)

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  9. Daniela says:

    I have been thinking about you watching news … and just came over to yours to ‘see’ how you doing, so was glad to find this post. I cannot agree more with the ideas you expressed here. Only by re-evaluation and re-examination of ourselves as humans we will be ale ensure lasting peace … I know it sounds rather ‘cheesy’ but it I know not of other long-term solution.

    Stay Well,
    Daniela

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    • makagutu says:

      Hope you too are well my good friend. Thanks for your concerns. Am well.

      The solutions to lasting peace, if that is possible, are hard and will require courage to even attempt to adopt them

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  10. Sonel says:

    I don’t understand all this hate as well Mak and why that money can’t be used for good is totally beyond my comprehension. Great post. 😀

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  11. shelldigger says:

    Wow, that was extremely well said sir.

    While I agree with your sentiments, I still feel like terrorists should be hunted down like the animals they are. There should be no safe haven, every waking hour they need to spend looking over their shoulders. We need to go after them till they decide that being a terrorist might not have been such a good idea after all. The problem is terrorists want exactly what you describe, they want society to be: “marginalized, oppressed and denied opportunities for self-expression” …and they want to be the thugs in charge. Left to prosper, you get the Taliban or the like. This is what they want for society, they don’t just want to carve out a little place in Utah, they want the whole pie. Unless you are ready to convert to Islam, you, me, everyone is a worthless infidel to be despised or killed. Heck, they even kill each other just because they are of differing sects of their own damned religion. How is that for tolerance?

    Innocent civilians, with no dog in the race, are pawns for terrorists. Nothing more, a means to an end. terrorists are no better than the Saddam Hussein’s, or the Adolf Hitler’s of history. I wish there exists an elegant solution to this problem, but no, if there is ever a solution it will be at the end of a bloody mess.

    I understand that long term, education and wider acceptance of other peoples beliefs/cultures is the best answer, but that doesn’t help much in the here and now. I sincerely doubt terrorist organizations are going to show up for a peace talk (except to make demands), nor do they deserve the implied respect of an invitation. Sometimes the worst solution, is the best one.

    With that all said, I know I sound like the RWCRFM’s I despise (Right Wing Conservative Republican Fundamentalist Morons) but honestly what do you get when you meet a terrorists demands? More demands, more dead, more atrocities. The only way to stop a bully from taking your lunch money is to hit him in the face, and hit him hard.

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    • makagutu says:

      In the movie Braveheart, Longshanks, a vile ruler as they can get, through his magistrates order his soldiers to spend the first night with newly weds in order that if they can’t defeat the Scots at war, they can at least breed them out of existence, maybe atheists, agnostics could try to do breed the extermists out of existence or they be isolated from society and be put in a place where they can have fun killing each other.
      There is no easy solution to this problem. We, by allowing acts of aggression by our armed forces in the name of protecting our borders or interests have created this mess. It is time we changed approaches.

      Like

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