Thursday, February 23, 2006

Munich and Terrorism

I've been meaning to write for awhile about my thoughts on the movie, "Munich". I thought it was an excellent film and very powerful.
Watching the film, I started to agree with its thesis: Killing terrorists for revenge or for deterrence does not really work. There are always more to fill their gap.
I definitely agree with the revenge issue, as I have been adamantly against the death penalty for many years. I just don't think civil human beings should kill another to prove they are more civilized.
But what about killing terrorists to prevent a terrorist attack? What if they are a direct threat? I think it is easier to argue to kill another individual if they are directly about to kill you. For instance, shooting a person who is about to blow up a bomb. But, in today's world a lot of the threats are more theoretical. Should we kill Osama? Will it really make a difference to KILL him? I definitely believe we should catch him and put him on trial, and if guilty (yes he will be) put him away for ever. And he won't allow us to capture him, I guess we have no choice. But should our goal be to kill all terrorist leaders? According to the premise of the film Munich, they will just be repopulated by new terrorists. We'd end up having to kill a lot of people.
I've always believed we have to fight the root causes of terrorism and hate, which I believe are poverty and lack of freedom.
But should we kill everyone? As I was thinking about this, I read a great quote from Sogyal Rinpoche: "...the natural karmic logic that taking the life of others or harming them will shorten your life, and giving life will lengthen it." As long as we follow the noble path, we will be rewarded, even if it is not in this lifetime.
The balance is just hard to find sometimes.