With the United States having mostly avoided major terrorist attacks for the past ten-plus years, those outside our pluralistic Western society still wage a war against what some would say is civilization itself -- the latest bout of clashing values and beliefs in an Eastern-Western schism that has existed since, and predates, Io and Helen of Troy.
It was with horror yesterday that we read the news of the ISIS attacks on Belgium from radicalized elements inside the nation, primarily the Holenbeek area of Brussels. And, while It's easy to let the better angels of our virtue get swallowed up by anger, fear, confusion, and hatred as story after story, and gurney after gurney, roll across our screens, Alabama senior Retin Obasohan makes clear that this is exactly when we need those little angels the most: In a war of ideas, being consumed with the same reactionary blood lust and easy resort to instrumental violence does not bring back the living, nor does it rebuild from the damage inflicted.
Listen to what a Belgium native has to say, as the clearly emotional Obasohan addresses the ISIS attacks:
In a conflict that is as much about ideals and values as it is territorial conquest and temporal power grabs, Retin singing the paeans of hope, love and a belief in a better world does not contradict or preclude an equal adherence to those Western values of the rule of law, just war, due process, and swift punishment.
But, above all, his is a message of hope. Hope that we can, and are, better than this as a society and one day as a species.