<%image(20051112-Jordan.jpg|182|270|Jordan Vigil)%> With close to 60 dead, over 100 wounded, and a hard fought image of safety in tatters, the people of Jordan have good cause to be upset after being hit with three bombing attacks (link). There is nothing worse than finding out you have a new enemy who wants to kill you. In fact, voices from numerous papers in the Middle East have joined together in denouncing the suicide bombings (link).
And even if some of the condemnations are a bit guarded, such as referring to the acts as “blind” terror (is terror OK if it’s directed at someone like America?), the anger of moderate voices in the Arab world seems to be the most powerful weapon in any struggle against terrorism. Even Palestinian militants have limits to their barbarity in claiming that while it’s OK to kill Jews, indiscriminate acts of terror against other nationalities is clearly wrong (link).
And so we have a reason for hope in the midst of dark times.
If the US can keep its nose out of other countries, tone down its rhetoric, and work to bring justice and peace (when called upon!) to nations that may harbor would-be terrist sympthizers, perhaps the war on terror could be transformed into a terrorism boycott. I am hopeful that the people of Jordan, Iraq, and other nations gripped by the fear of terrorists will be able to head up a moderating force that works at peace and diplomacy.
I also wonder what would happen if we let King Abdullah II of Jordan and Iraqi forces hunt down militant leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi? al-Zarqawi is from Jordan and the people of Jordan have reason enough to hate him. Perhaps they should receive our support, but not our troops, in hunting him down.
During a brief visit to Jordan I was impressed with their desire for peace and overall friendliness. It saddens me to see how terrorism has once again torn into their land that they have worked so hard to rebuild. I can only hope that Jordan becomes one of the leading voices in denouncing terror and will help the rest of the world root it out.