Tangled Web of Terror

Tangled Web of Terror

ūüēł¬†Unravelling The Strands…¬†ūüē∑


"Tangled Web of Terror" logoI created this mind map just after the attacks in Brussels this spring which I passed through the week after. I’m also in Paris several days a week, so there’s that too.

And now not-so Nice, and that’s just staying in France. But hey, this could be about anywhere, anytime, any people, any era where irreconcilable perceived differences push people to do things which leave on-lookers incredulous and cursing.

On the other hand the onlookers aren’t in the skins of those carrying out the attacks and so it is very difficult to truly understand where the real problem lies and even more challenging to know how to fix it if it’s even possible.

It’s a real casse-t√™te (head-breaker) as the French would say, and they’re not wrong.


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I Think You’ll Find…


"Tangled Web of Terror" image 1 "Mind Map Mad"Whenever someone comes up with some kind of superficial solution, or banal platitude, or even searing indictment, ‘I think you’ll find it’s more complicated than that…’ is unfortunately the most realistic response.

In this piece I’ve attempted not to take sides, although obviously in any given situation where people are killed horribly it’s a disgusting and atrocious loss of life. There’s something in me, though, which always tries to see the bigger picture and that from as many different angles as possible.

After all, a certain number of people seem to think that killing certain nationalities or populations in one way or another is ‘ok’, or they wouldn’t do it. The nation to which I belong – Britain – is actually a perfect example.

"Tangled Web of Terror" image 2 "Mind Map Mad"To get to the real heart of the problem we need to try to understand why they think that way.¬†And that’s where it gets decidedly ‘more complicated than that’…

Deep divisional lines drawn decades or centuries ago by outside powers are often still open sores in the memories of those who had them imposed upon them. Modern African nations with ruler-straight frontiers cleaving ancient communities leading to internal strife bear witness to this.

The bitter legacy of religions manipulated to serve man’s arrogance and avarice in all senses and directions seems to show no let up.

And finally, with our caveman genes, are we not simply acting out pre-written pre-historic roles carried down through the ages where only the spoils and the chattel and the means to procure them have changed form somewhat, and most of those not much in fact.


Something Wrong With Human Nature?


"Tangled Web of Terror" image 3 "Mind Map Mad"So in the end I really can’t say I see any solution or way out any time soon, nor do I believe that man’s nature is going to suddenly flip somehow as long as there are home comforts to cherish and shiny new toys or lifestyles to covet.

You could call my attitude cynical or fatalistic or simply realistic, but although I think human behaviour patterns are pretty much fixed, I also believe that a huge chunk of human nature is fundamentally good, as long as we or those we consider closest to us are not in danger.

Therein lies the problem of course, because we and our families and ‘tribes’ often are in peril and these pinpricks of horror we experience here in France, for example, are but an echo of far greater brutalities going on in lands not so far away which some of us just happen to have had the good fortune not to be born in during these turbulent times.

"Tangled Web of Terror" image 4 "Mind Map Mad"I won’t go on about it (actually, it turns out I did…), but the idea of one person’s terrorist being another’s hero or freedom fighter depending on which side of the frontier you find yourself or whose colours run in your veins or fly over your land does tend to haunt me and I’m not quite sure what to do about it.

Some acts do appear purely and simply evil, but when you hear Iraqis saying that, in retrospect, they were far happier under Saddam Hussein and that the Americans only did what they did to protect their oil interests anyway, well jeez it’s difficult to know what to think any more.


Impossible Questions, But Ask Anyway


"Tangled Web of Terror" image 5 "Mind Map Mad"The Tangled Web of Terror, then, doesn’t attempt to answer impossible questions but to make people think, and then talk and maybe, just maybe move towards some sort of realisation that we have to be nicer to each other.

Let’s try being less grasping and more sharing, more loving and less sectarian, and listen to the hippies telling us that we’re all children of the universe, more than anything else, and that we’re currently royally screwing things up big-time.

How fascinating it would be to see where man(un)kind is in say 500 or 5000 years from now.

We can’t though, and all we’ve got is today, to be nice to people, to help others, to make love not war, to realise that much greater happiness comes from human cooperation and showing those less fortunate than ourselves how to help themselves than by stressing over whether to hold out for the iPhone 7 or to go for one of those great deals on the iPhone 6S I keep seeing at the moment.

"Tangled Web of Terror" image 6 "Mind Map Mad"I am a realist though, probably more than an idealist, and I want that iPhone 7 as much as the next nerd. We all try to find our way, given what we’ve got, without being too much of a bastard, hopefully.

Right now I’ve got some sort of education and some sort of drive to send some sort of message out somewhere, and I’ve got mind maps which are allowing me to express stuff in a way I haven’t been able to before, so at least there’s that too.

At least I feel I’m doing something vaguely positive, whatever that something might be. I console myself with the thought that whatever effect it has, it must be better than doing nothing, even if all it does is make people think.


Just In Case…


"Tangled Web of Terror" image 7 "Mind Map Mad"… some¬†of you find this forced neutrality wishy-washy or lily-livered or fence-sittingly laxist, I understand, and I struggle often with this.

It doesn’t take a genius to generally agree that, on principle, killing someone is wrong. But, as usual, I think you’ll find it’s a bit more complicated than that…

What if that person is about to rape your wife or torture your children or simply kill you? Then the decision would seem fairly straight forward. You would at least try to stop them with whatever force necessary, even if that force proved deadly. It would be either them or you, so if someone’s gonna¬†die it might as well be the other guy, right?

"Tangled Web of Terror" image 8 "Mind Map Mad"Or maybe someone is robbing your store, or firebombing your car, or burgling your house or hijacking your plane or trying to steal your iPhone – what should you do then and at what point or level of violence should you stop trying to protect ‘what is legally yours’.

But what if the person doing the attacking (or ‘defending’ as they see it…) feels just as justified as you for exactly the same
reasons as you: protecting their homeland; defending their rights; upholding their beliefs: fighting oppression? Then things get messy.

I’ll never forget the towering irony of people venerating God, on both sides of the equation, after the 9/11 massacre. This (irony) is nowhere better exemplified than in the words of the respective leaders.

Off the top of your head, can you guess who proffered these (un?)holy utterances?


1) “I am driven with a mission from god.”


2) “It’s difficult if you talk about religious faith in our political system. If you are in the […] political system… they respond to [it] quite naturally. You talk about it in our system and, frankly, people do think you’re a nutter.”


3) “We fought you because we are free and because we want freedom for our nation. When you squander our security we squander yours.”


4)¬†“I believe that God has planted in every human heart the desire to live in freedom. And even when that desire is crushed by tyranny for decades, it will rise again.”


5) “It is because [our brave armed forces are facing] danger that we have peace. And that is what we mark today as we celebrate the birth of God‚Äôs only son, Jesus Christ ‚Äď the Prince of Peace.”


6) “As I watched the destroyed towers… it occurred to me punish the unjust the same way [and] to destroy towers… so [they] could taste some of what we are tasting and to stop killing our children and women.”


7) “I think if you have faith about these things, you realise that judgement is made by other people… and if you believe in God, it’s made by God as well.”


8) “He thought listening to a child discussing her goat and its ramming was more important than the planes and their ramming of the skyscrapers. This had given us three times the time needed to carry out the operations, thanks be to God.”


9) “And now, again, I feel God’s words coming to me.”


Choose from: Tony Blair, Osama bin Laden, George W. Bush, David Cameron (key below*)


… It’s More Complicated Than That


"Tangled Web of Terror" image 9 "Mind Map Mad"It goes without saying that supernatural belief systems are not the only cause of ultimately evil acts – national pride or fear, a sense of injustice, feelings of not belonging, jealousy and even supporting the wrong football team are equally called upon to justify unrestrained nastiness.

What’s more, day-to-day fundamental religious values may in fact have very little to do with the underlying root causes of unrest and dissatisfaction with life.

After all, some people, like the 70% of Brits who don’t follow any faith maybe (according to a 2015 poll of 65 countries), would argue that we invented religion precisely to try and make sense of man’s wild warring ways…

That’s why I’m absolutely not against people practising religion privately and discretely if it doesn’t bother anyone else; if it helps them find some meaning and peace to their earthly existence then so be it and we’ll all be better for it.

What I don’t like though is when it spills out into the public realm. In France, where I live, it’s an explicitly¬†laical, or secular country, not to mention passionately democratic. In other words, the state and the church are separate. In principle this means that neither politicians nor priests have the right to influence or dabble in the affairs of their counterparts.

People have the right to believe whatever they like as long as they don’t bother others, which kind of inherently implies not pushing your personal ideals onto people who don’t want to hear them.

Most upright citizens, including many who do follow a particular belief system, are quite comfortable with this and defend these ideals vigorously. In theory, everyone is set to benefit from the system, as long as the deepest fundamental right – that to live your life peacefully – is respected.

You won’t hear French politicians loudly proclaiming that ‘God told me to do it’ or even discussing their beliefs at all. They’d risk ridicule at best and potentially a loss of confidence and a withdrawal of support (from the electorate – their worst nightmare!) if they did.

This is not so in the US or even the UK.

Obama is slammed (at home) if he neglects to heap praise or at least name-check some deity or other on a regular basis.

"Tangled Web of Terror" Mind Map Mad logoGeorge W. Bush wore his born-again Christianism like a boy scout’s shiny badge of honour, delighting middle America and using it as a sort of self-righteously God-given 007 licence to kill, in his turn.

According to an ABC News poll 83% of Americans identify themselves as Christians with another 4% adhering to Jewish, Muslim or Buddhist values. In fairness, the results of one poll of a thousand people should be taken cautiously. Another ‘extensive new survey‘ of 35000 Americans reports that the percentage calling themselves Christians is declining sharply, down from 78.4% in 2007 to 70.6% in 2014 .

Back on the political front, Tony Blair, the British prime minister who told his best buddy Bush he would always be there for him, had a whole silo full of slithery religious issues of his own.

Hell, even David Cameron has raised eye-brows opposite self-declared non-believing British politicians Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband by saying that, yes, in fact he does ‘do God’. Despite that, his most pleasing (and telling) quote regarding his faith remains, for me:¬†¬†“It’s a bit like the reception for Magic FM in the Chilterns: it sort of comes and goes”.

You can’t keep a good dollop of British drollery down.

Is it that these people don’t feel on solid enough ideological or ethical ground that they have to look to the heavens and the supernatural for¬†justification from a source so far over our heads that we are, by its own definition, not even supposed to understand (or try to) but just to accept without question?

Whatever the answer or the reasons behind all this madness, even if it turns out to be simple human nature all along, whether we like it or not, I’ll continue thinking about it and asking questions.

We can only try to stay happy and generous and proactive to the extent we are able and hope others we come across will do the same. That’s about all we can do, isn’t it? But if we ALL did that, then we’d surely see some of the changes we want in the world.

* Key to quotes: 1) Bush; 2) Blair; 3) bin Laden; 4) Bush; 5) Cameron; 6) bin Laden; 7) Blair; 8) bin Laden; 9) Bush

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Here are those download links again, and don’t forget to let me know what you think¬†here. What do you reckon about my ‘Tangled Web of Terror’¬†mind map, and do you think you will try out the technique yourself? Feel free to share, and I hope it helps you in some way!

 

‘Tangled Web of Terror’ Downloads

 

JPG Image 800 px ~ JPG Image 1920 px ~ JPG Image 3500px
PDF Doc ~ Sab on Biggerplate!

 

Click HERE for Important Copyright Info

Feel free to use my ‘Tangled Web of Terror’ mind map as follows:

1) For any NON-commercial use
2) Leave it EXACTLY as it is
3) Don’t change ANYTHING
4) Make sure the © Copyright text is included and intact
5) See 2) and 3) (you get the idea!)

You CAN reproduce it online or embed it in your blog or website as long as you…

6) Respect 1-5 above
7) Include a credit to ‘Sab Will / Mind Map Mad’ AND include a clickable link to this page ( http://www.mindmapmad.com/tangled-web-of-terror/ ) on the web page next to or near the image – thanks!¬†

Sab on BiggerWhat?

BiggerPLATE, that’s What?! No, I don’t know what it means either, yet. But I will.

Anyway, it’s a place absolutely crammed with cool mind maps, including mine – he he! You can download the actual original iMindMap file (the mind mapping software I use) and play around with it yourself. Nice!

 

Notes on the “Tangled Web of Terror” Mind Map

 

"Tangled Web of Terror" Mind Map Mad toon

Sab Will enjoys creating fun and helpful mind maps and articles on a wide range of topics.

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© 2016 Sab Will / Mind Map Mad