Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Increases in Westerners attraction to Taliban philosophy similar to 60’s anti-establishment movement?

I was reading headlines of the different national and international media outlets this morning and came across one on MSNBC "Taliban sees little need for foreign fighters" and it got me thinking about the recent defections of Western persons to Taliban and Al-Qaeda camps in the Middle East. Over the past six to eight months the Star Tribune has been reporting on the mysteries behind several Somali-American men that have left Minnesota only to be later to be discovered to have a hand in bombings in the Middle East. Just this past week, a story circulated that four Americans, turned in by their parents, left for the Middle East, namely Pakistan, to train with Al-Qaeda. The reason of my focus on these events is I wonder if the escalation of Americans going to the Middle East to join Al-Qaeda or the Taliban is similar to the tensions that existed in the United States during the late 60's.

During that time we had the Weatherman Underground, many protests in the United States over the Vietnam War, and the march for civil rights by Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr, and others. Are we experiencing a similar movement in regards to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? Or is this a bigger war being waged on Western ideals? I will admit that I was not born until 1971 so I did not experience the 60's as my elders and have to revert to their recollection of history and what can be gleaned from history books. So I pose this analogy to my elder readers: Are the events we see with the migration of Americans to the Middle East to gain terrorist training creating the ground swell of anti-establishment sentiment that engulfed the late 60's and early 70's in the United States?