OK I have to admit, at first I didn't see the ex in front of extremists and jumped to conclusions, thinking oh no here we go again. Then after I saw my mistake my next thought was, how are these people going to get to Ireland, they must be on everyone's no-fly list?
"The Summit Against Violent Extremism” will be held from June 26th to 29th. In the Google mold of thinking outside the box and exploring new uncharted tech frontiers, they have set their sites on wrestling with the worlds Achilles heal: Dispossessed members of society who revert to violent extremism.
Terrorism and violent extremism can be seen as the # 1 threat to mankind as we set sail into the 21st century. The world is now a starship of hi tech weaponry and WMD that can cause massive casualties to society. Once it took an army to inflict great amounts of casualties, now a single committed extremist can unleash a world of hurt on many, with the push of a button,or by opening a vial.
I have a special interest in terrorism, I happened to find myself in the middle some violent extremism in the past and know what it feels like to bear the brunt. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time in the middle east.
On the other hand, my child hood friend grew up to be a violent extremist, so I have an interesting perspective and can see the results from both sides of the coin.
Although my friend grew up in urban middle class America, he felt a disconnect with society in his teen years and drifted away from the mainstream. He felt his place was to bring about change no matter what the cost and fell in with an organized group of extremists whose goal was to inflict death and destruction in the name of their beliefs….and they did as I read about him in the newspapers.
So what is at the root of this disconnect with the rest of society that can bring such violent consequences to the rest of the world? That’s what Google coupled with the Council of Foreign Relations is preparing to discover at this Dublin conference where over 50 ex-violent extremists, including Neo-Nazis, Islamic fundamentalists and drug gang members will gather to discuss what brought them to extremism. They will be in discussion with victims of terrorism, diplomats, academics, civil society organizations and the private sector. What are the root causes? What can be done to bring them in from the terrorist cold?
It is with great symbolism that Dublin is the location for this first gathering. This is where great sacrifice, blood, sweat and tears were shed in order to bring a lasting peace to a violent part of the world. It is where parties sat down and discussed their differences and found a solution to the violence that plagued them for years. They showed the rest of the world how it’s done.
A lot of respect goes to Google, The Council on Foreign Relations, ex-terrorists for changing their ways, their victims, scholars & others who want to make the world a better place…But thank you Dublin for setting the stage.