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Byron Shire
May 24, 2024

Terrorism’s ‘elephant in the room’

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R J Poole, Lismore

The ‘elephant in the room’ is a metaphoric saying denoting something that is palpable, yet unnoticed.

It refers to an obvious truth or reality that is so large it often goes unseen – until someone points it out.

Western culture has a number of elephants standing in its room, one of which is a cultural arrogance towards other cultures.

This arrogance stems from a long history of conquest and colonisation.

Since the time of Cortez and the first trading caravels, white Europeans have claimed other parts of the world and exploited them for all the cheap labour and cheap resources they’re worth.

This process has changed over the years and nowadays is more commonly seen in the form of puppet governments and corporate licenses.

The West has learned you don’t have to actually occupy a country to have control over their affairs!

Along with our economic and military domination however, has come a cultural attitude that views other people as somehow less worthy, less important. Initially, this view centred on skin colour and our (perceived) technical superiority, but these days it often manifests as indifference.

Our media convulses over the recent shootings in Paris, yet largely ignores drone attacks in locations around the globe. Attacks that often miss their intended target, killing innocent men, women and children!

A recent report by the human-rights group Reprieve, says these killings are fuelling extreme groups and violent reprisals.

So the elephant in the room with terrorism appears to be our own terror. When we kill it’s for justifiable reasons, to defend the weak, to defend freedom. But when others kill it’s an act of unspeakable horror.

Perhaps the big picture we’re not seeing is that murder begets murder and it’s all equally bad news regardless!

R J Poole, Lismore

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  1. Always blame the west, if all else fails! Of course while you’re at it ignore the imperialist Chinese, Japanese, Russians, and of course Arabs in the form of the Islamic Jihad that has lasted over 1300 years and which now threatens us once again. . Yep … wring your hands, say a few mea culpas and assume the rest of the worlds major cultures have done absolutely nothing to contribute to the problems we have now. It is a wonder Mr Poole didn’t roll out the everyman’s culprit those evil Zionists!!

    • Mike – we are strangers. We have never met, nor communicated before. The assumptions you’ve made about me personally are just that – assumptions. Rather than playing the man, why not play the ball instead and address yourself to the issues I’ve raised.

      There has been a continuous Western presence in the Middle East since the time of Lawrence of Arabia. On several occasions whole scale invasions have been mounted by the West into that part of the world and for many decades now the West has maintained an occupying presence.

      This fact does not suggest that other parts of the world have not participated in colonial activities, nor that the West is the only source of aggression. Rather my comments point to the direct link between Arab speaking violence and the on-going Western / Russian intervention in their part of the world.

  2. Seems people have also forgotten the ‘Coalition of the Willing’ and the ‘War on Terror’ conducted by George Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard. France and many other European countries also got involved. That went well.

    Millions of people who marched in the streets all over the world against this preposterous idea, as they knew it would create another world wide disaster, were ignored. Unfortunately the very thing they feared would be unleashed has now come to pass. Meanwhile George, Tony and John are enjoying a comfortable retirement.

    But few ordinary people feel relaxed and comfortable, let alone safe.

  3. I guess the ill informed, lefty inspired self hatred in the west will continue to come up with these half formed ideas. For a much more truthful and accurate understanding of the facts see Clive Kesslers’ article on the ANU Mandala website. Muslim terrorism has got much more to do with factions of Muslims wanting a much more traditional, fundamental form of Islam, including Sharia law, fighting against Muslims that have accepted a more modern understanding of how they can live the world. Western involvement in Islamic nations has had some influence on the radicalising some Muslims, but it is not the root cause of the violence.


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