In the 1930s, events in Europe slowly came to a head as fanatics gradually organized themselves and began acquiring territories and subjects which were not rightfully theirs.
Small countries were overrun and subjugated and certain people were systematically exterminated while the large civilized countries of the world looked on in dismay.
These large civilized countries woke up to their danger only after they were attacked. Even then, there were those in the US who thought the attacks had been deserved and that the United States should not provoke further aggression.
Finally, World War II ensued and it took five bloody years to bring things to a close. Even then, we were still in trouble because we had allied ourselves with a fanatic with the same goals in mind.
It is only seventy years later and we seem to have forgotten the lessons of the past. There is a dysfunctional area of the world in which human rights are notably absent, women are subjugated, and an implacable hatred of democratic culture is made evident on a daily basis.
If we would understand the motivations of those who recruit and employ suicide bombers, we might do well to read the works of physicist Haim Harari, Chair, Davidson Institute of Science Education and Past President, Weizmann Institute of Science.
He made a speech in 2004 titled, Undeclared World War III, which is a chilling wake up call to those who enjoy the fruits of a democratic society.
I found this paragraph interesting:
The civilized world believes in democracy, the rule of law, including international law, human rights, free speech and free press, among other liberties. There are naive old-fashioned habits such as respecting religious sites and symbols, not using ambulances and hospitals for acts of war, avoiding the mutilation of dead bodies and not using children as human shields or human bombs.
He describes why these conventions are violated in parts of the Arab world where fanaticism has taken hold. It may give you some food for thought.
He later expanded this material into a book, A View from the Eye of the Storm, Terror and Reason in the Middle East. I have not yet read this book, but after seeing his other work, I am adding it to my reading list.
Many thanks to Avi Solomon for introducing me to the works of Haim Harari.