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Judgment Not Included by Thomas L. Friedman - Research Paper Example

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In this paper I will summarize and analyse Thomas L. Friedman’s article Judgment Not Included. The article appeared in the New York Times on April 27, 2013 and addresses the findings of investigators of the bombing that took place at the Boston Marathon…
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Judgment Not Included by Thomas L. Friedman

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Friedman reflects on the rationale of the Boston bomber suspects and the internet’s role in informing the rationale. According to Friedman, investigators reported that the surviving suspect indicated that he and his brother were upset about the U.S.’s invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and that their opinions and feelings were informed by websites visited on the internet. Friedman is not surprised that the brothers were bothered by the U.S. invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan as it probably angered lots of Muslims. Friedman however, takes issue with how the two suspects chose to express their dissatisfaction. Bombing the Boston Marathon and taking the lives of individuals who have nothing to do with the official acts of the U.S. government and who may have even been Muslims is particularly disturbing when the suspects had a number of more effective and far less dangerous options open to them. To begin with, the suspects were living in the U.S. and could have organized peaceful assemblies to draw attention to their opposition to the U.S.’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, they are at liberty to raise and draw attention to any issue that they might feel warrants attention. Friedman also wonders why the brothers did not chose to do something productive for Afghanistan. For instance, the brothers could have contributed to community development in Afghanistan with a view to making them less vulnerable to foreign invasion. The brothers could have obtained a higher education and repatriated to one of those Muslim states and made productive contributions to those communities. Certainly the choice that was ultimately made did nothing to help Iraq and Afghanistan nor the brothers themselves. In fact their actions did more harm than good. Friedman argues that the brothers are a small sample size, but do represent a trend among Islamic radicals. They have a tendency to use violence as an expression of their dissatisfaction with Western governments’ treatment of Muslims. In the process, they end up hurting and even killing Muslims and therefore doing more harm to Muslims than the Western states that motivated their actions in the first place. With respect to the internet’s influence on the suspects’ thinking, Friedman suggests that the internet is an entirely enigmatic invention. On the one hand it is a source of valuable information and on the other hand it is also a dangerous forum for spreading and perpetuating hatred. In this regard, hatred and important information enjoy an uneasy co-existence and unfortunately, the information highway is navigated by children and the rest of the world without supervision. The opinions and a lot of the information exchanged via the internet are uncensored and should be read and processed with caution. Moreover, our judgments should not be informed by random and uncensored opinions and expressed by strangers on the internet. Instead, our judgments should be informed by our actual social learning which begins at home and sadly, this did not happen for the Boston bombing suspects. Part III: Analysis Although Friedman’s suggestion that the Boston bombing suspects alleged acts of terror were counterproductive to their end goals, his suggestion is meaningless to terrorists. As Doran explains, in order to understand why terrorists commit acts of violence we need to ask ourselves “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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