I know we shouldn't laugh at 22 people getting blown up, but sometimes we haven't any choice. Today's NY Times is reporting that a terrorist instructor in Iraq mistakenly used a loaded suicide belt to teach a class of wanna-be young terrorists the tricks of the trade. The lesson they actually learned was "Kaboom!" and "Adios, Charlie!". Or more accurately, "Adios, Wile E.!"
Wile E. the Terrorist Instructor not only took 22 of his "pupils" with him (yes, the NY Times actually calls them "pupils"), but he also gravely injured 15 others and sent 8 fleeing into the arms of arrest by the authorities who rushed to the scene. To paraphrase a famous line in "Fiddler on the Roof", "With your help our whole movement is being destroyed."
It's a silly scene in a horrible way. But the hard truth is that these terrorist recruiters and instructors are really very destructive of their own young people. And not just when they goof up like this. After all, they are recruiting and instructing in the name of suicide. All their "pupils" are doomed to die by the demented syllabus these instructors in death have espoused. Most of these pupils are young. They are someone's sons or brothers. I have spent many years as a teacher of boys these ages. I love these misguided boys.
When are the Islamic people going to say, "That's it." Even if they have no feelings for the young who are being led so dreadfully astray, surely they must care about their own friends and neighbors who are so often the collateral damage of terrorism. Has anyone besides me noticed, with the exception of Boston, that the explosions are now almost always in Muslim countries, not in the hated West? Has this terror war shifted almost completely to Sunni v. Shiite?
And should we in the West care? After all, lots of people say, "Let them kill each other off. They've been fighting for a thousand years." So should we care? Yes, I think we should. Just as Jews believe that he who saves one life saves the world, the opposite is arguably true. i.e. he who takes one life, diminishes all. Also keep in mind that where violence runs rampant, dictator types look really good. And didn't we just get rid of a lot of dictators.
Okay, you say, caring is one thing. Do all the caring you want to. But doing something about Muslim v. Muslim is another. After all, you point out, what can the West do? Stop the flow of weapons? We can't even do that in our own neighborhoods.
Maybe we can't do anything. Maybe it has to be Islam which finally says that enough is enough. After all, Northern Ireland is now entering its fourteenth year of non-violence after three hundred years of Celtic Catholic Irish and Celtic Protestant Ulster Scots blowing each other up. And they stopped this killing of Celtic cousins only after the two communities said that it was time to stop, that vengeance was no longer sweet. They stopped after two little boys died in the fire that destroyed their home after it was bombed because one of the parents was a Catholic and one was a Protestant. The boys are called "the Little Martyrs". The peace in Northern Ireland was written in their blood.
We don't want any martyrs. I don't even want that Wile E. Coyote of an instructor to be dead, though I despise him for leading the young not just astray but to their doom. Unless we say that all human life is valuable, no one is safe. But the people who are fighting have got to want peace and safety. Sadly, the young Muslim martyrs seem to want something else, a blaze of glory and phony heroics. It's discouraging, isn't it?
As the folk song says, "When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?" You'll note that the question is stated twice. Not a good sign.