Americans are optimists by nature. We view ourselves as a caring, benevolent people, and we are. So when we are attacked at an event that is supposed to celebrate our national pride and American identity, we are stunned. Stunned that any one person or any group could be so filled with so much evil and hatred.
But Americans are also complacent. We are all too eager to seek ways to be accommodating to our enemies. In that sense, Americans are naïve. We are, in a sense, weakened by our own strength.
We must first look to our leaders for guidance and those leaders must be strong. We need more than reassurances by our president that the guilty party or parties will be brought to justice.
Let’s stop talking about how “cool” Barack Obama is under pressure when we need a commander-in-chief who shows a little emotion.
Forget about the cool. At least give the American people some sense that as president you are actually doing something about the situation instead of just being “cool.”
Americans must begin to change their attitude. Press needs to report slowly, even though the immediateness of online news seems to require a rush to judgement. The result is that broadcasters can only replay events on a perpetual loop, talk to eyewitnesses and talking head experts and attempt to answer the inevitable question, “Why?”
Perhaps it is time to stop reflecting. Time to stop looking inward and stop blaming ourselves. Enough of the mindless chatter. It’s time to get down to the business of finding real answers rather than beating around the bush at irrelevant distractions.
Forget about the heroes. There are plenty. There always are. First responders, doctors, nurses and even marathon participants reached out to help just as they always do.
When the going gets tough, no people on the planet are more selfless than Americans.
Stop talking about how resilient Bostonians are and how they will bounce back.
Americans are resilient. In times of crisis, be they hurricanes, snowstorms or some other catastrophic event, Americans fight back. That is who we are.
It does not matter where we are from, Americans are by nature a people that overcomes adversity.
We need to stop discussing how everyone has unified as one. That’s what we do. No matter how, when or where something happens, Americans always come together to support each other.
These are not idle, callous, cynical, heartless thoughts. But we need to stop talking about nothing and actively doing something rather than consoling ourselves and trying to make ourselves feel better.
Yesterday was a holiday in a major American city. The Boston Marathon is a global event. It is a celebration showcasing American pride in its heritage.
There explosions, set 50-100 yards apart, were purposely detonated separately in order to create panic and turmoil. The bombs, pressure cookers filled with the bombs, ball bearings, carpenter nails and metail pieces were placed low and designed to inflict massive injuries.
One must wonder if the intent was to maim more than to kill. In that way, the chaos was heightened. The explosions happened late in the marathon when crowds of runners and their family members were larger and when security was at a lower ebb.
Some say the terrorists might be home grown. Others say they might be outsiders. Another possibility is they could be home grown activists who are converts.
Who ever the bomber is, the time has come to get realistic. Instead of believing we can negotiate with cultures and philosophies that have no desire to negotiate, we must find different solutions.
First we must stop trying to solve these problems using American values and ideals.
Perhaps it would be better to establish an agency that does nothing but focus upon learning and understanding the Middle East. Agents would learn to speak and read Arabic fluently They would study the Koran and the Hadith. They would learn Middle Eastern and Islamic history and culture.
Advisors and teachers would come from those regions and would be influential instructors who are knowledgeable about the mores of a desert existence.
Agents would study Islam learning comparisons between Christianity, Judaism and Islam; how they are similar and how they are different. They would know important dates and battles during Muhammad’s lifetime and beyond. They would understand the Crusades from both a Christian and an Islamic perspective.
In short, we must begin to recognize that we are indeed in a war that must be fought from a position of strength.
Perhaps it will be another twelve years before the next terrorist attack will take place on American soil. Even that is too soon.
For once, let’s be proactive and form an organization where actions speak louder than words.
Peabod is Bob Taylor, owner of Taylored Media Services in
Inquiries for groups can be made at Peabod@aol.com Taylored Media has produced marketing videos for British Rail, Rail Europe, Switzerland Tourism, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council, the Finnish Tourist Board, the Swiss Travel System and Japan Railways Group among others.
As author of The Century Club book, Peabod is now attempting to travel to 100 countries or more during his lifetime. To date he has visited 71 countries. Suggest someplace new for Bob to visit; if you want to know where he has been, check his list on Facebook. Bob plans to write a sequel to his book when he reaches his goal of 100 countries. He also played professional baseball for four years and was a sportscaster for 14 years at WBTV, the CBS affiliate in Charlotte.
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