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Dealing With Terrorism

January 21, 1986

Terrorism is a word we hardly knew in America 30 years ago. Now in 1986 as we sum up the year of terrorist activity it is realized no one is safe from this enemy rampage. The act of violence is growing at such a fast rate it makes me wonder if we are dealing with the problem properly.

Our government seems willing to deal with terrorists in a "Rambo" retaliation. This mentality creates even more hatred, and puts us further away from solving the problems these people have that pushes them to the limit of such acts.

Is it so difficult for us to see these people as oppressed? In the book "Stride Toward Freedom," Martin Luther King Jr. classifies the three ways people react to oppression. One way is "acquiescence" by resigning themselves to doom. A second is "nonviolent resistance" and a third is "physical violence and corroding hatred." As King points out, this method "seeks to annihilate rather than to convert." He also points to the fact that violence "seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding."

As a nation we are humiliated and annihilated by these people, but as King said, "The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind." Violence enslaves countries and people. A more practical approach to this terrorism is to deal with the source of their oppression. Nonviolent agitation was Mahatma Gandhi's weapon in dealing with the British oppression over India.

Terrorism is not just an ugly act of violence but a worldwide cry to take a look at the pressures these people face daily. An animal will always strike when pushed ot its limits. Let's not push the limits any more than we have by retaliation.

MARSHA PAGANO

Woodland Hills

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