I have just attended a very interesting political seminar on ‘Terrorism and Complicity’ which brought up some interesting points that hadn’t occurred to me but maybe should have if I read more daily news and editorials, I readily admit I’m quite ignorant at times. When acts of terrorism occur we constantly hear about too many innocent victims. However, in the terrorists’ eyes, from my new understanding, they don’t see anyone as innocent. The speaker gave a range of quotes, one in particular from Osama bin Laden which I have been trying to find unsuccessfully. The basic message of the quote was ‘the people of your country vote in the president and the government, and the majority of the people pay taxes therefore the people are just as guilty as the government – there are no innocents’. Which got me thinking how many people really understand that connection?
If we have the privilege of being able to vote and we pay our taxes we expect that our government is going to spend the tax revenue as best it can and will represent our wishes. Therefore if we are not happy with the government’s decisions or actions we have a duty to let them know about. Now I’m not a politically active person and Australians in general seem pretty apathetic to me unless something has really disturbed the population into action but I do wonder sometimes how many people really understand what’s going on in the world beyond the domestic politics that affects their day-to-day lives. We live in a very globalised world now and I’m quite glad too as it brings quite a lot of benefits including cheap televisions, technology and travel but globalisation also brings a greater variety of diseases and it also brings news of what other people are living through in their countries, horrendous conditions such as oppression, human trafficking, genocide, etc. If we want the benefit of being able to buy cheap technology and cheaper cars, flights etc then shouldn’t we also have a duty to at least take an interest of what goes on in parts of the world where they produce these goods? What of the ‘third-world’? Countries that may not produce goods that we use but maybe some of these countries have become the latest ‘must-see destinations’ in tick-a-box tourism or maybe the diseases there are being studied by scientists, or maybe a country’s terrible plight gives students of history and politics a chance to understand how these events unfold. Hopefully if we all take more care to study politics and history maybe it will be repeated a little less often.
I’m very curious to know your thoughts on this.