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Trivial Pursuit Terrorism Edition

Trivial Pursuit Terrorism

Generation X Trivial Pursuit Terrorism Edition | It’s No Game

Terrorism is never going to end, and I knew this nearly 20 years before President George W. Bush in 2001, declared War on Terrorism. You probably knew it, too. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.

I figured this out in December 1983, when the IRA bombed a department store in London. They killed six people right before Christmas and injured 90 others. I was only 15, but by then, Generation X already had an impressive vocabulary of terrorism terms: car bombs and pipe bombs; IRA and PLO; separatists and extremists; cartels and rebels; guerrillas and noncombatants.

Faces of Evil

During my early childhood, Idi Amin was the face evil, but by the time I hit early adolescence he’d been replaced by the Ayatollah Khomeini. In high school, we feared Qaddafi, and during college, Saddam Hussein.

And, then in 1995, a few years after I started my career, terrorism had a brand new face: Timothy McVeigh. He bombed the Federal Building in Oklahoma City where I have lived for 25 years.

In 2001, Osama Bin Laden became America’s most wanted fugitive. He was captured and killed last year by a group of Navy Seals.

Today, evil has many faces: the Muslim Brotherhood and the Syrian Government; Iran and the Mexican drug cartels; China and North Korea’s nuclear arsenals, and Putin (yes), just to name a few.

Trivial Pursuit: Terrorism Edition

All of this works together for the most abysmal version of Trivial Pursuit yet. The pursuit of global domination in Hasbro’s game Risk always put me off.

Photo Courtesy Board Game Beast

Photo Courtesy Board Game Beast | Trivial Pursuit Terrorism Edition

But, I think a lone-wolf terrorist like McVeigh scares me the most. He operates in isolation outside a command structure, which makes his attacks nearly impossible to thwart. The lone wolves are the Buford Furrows and James Holmeses attacking babies at daycare centers and college students at midnight movies.

The Importance of Sadness

The recent death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens makes me sad. It’s horrible what happened to him. I forced myself to push past the offense of that horrible licensed Getty image of him beaten and bruised. But, why should I only look at pictures of him smiling and happy? Shouldn’t I, as an American, take part in his suffering? Shouldn’t I at least have the strength to share in his darkest hour?

When we open ourselves up to the sadness that is already there, we become stronger. We become more resistant to anger and denial, the things that lead us only to despair. I want to go to the good places God has for me: to empathy, sympathy and kindness. He uses sadness to get us there.

Generation X and Trivial Pursuit Terrorism Edition

The following is a list of terrorist attacks on U.S. Ambassadors and U.S. diplomatic facilities since 1965. This is not a comprehensive list of all terrorist attacks on Americans. Those in red text are incidents involving the assassination of ambassadors. It’s an informative list and from it emerges an interesting picture of the world in which Generation X came of age. Terrorism has been our “great war.”

According to David C. Rapoport, a political science professor at UCLA, there were four modern waves of terrorism. We are in the fourth wave, a religious wave now. And, it never really occurred to me until now, but the questions in Trivial Pursuit, especially the yellow and the blue ones, were only trivial because the Gen Xers who loved the game so much had not lived through any of it.

1965
Guatemala
U.S. Ambassador John Mein is gunned down by Guatemalan rebels.

1971
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
U.S. Marine from Alabama is killed after an attack on U.S. Embassy softball game.

1972
Manila, Philippines
Attack by communist group; U.S. Marine guard wounded

1973
Sudan
U.S. Ambassador Cleo Noel Jr. is killed by Black September faction of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

1974
Nicosia, Cyprus
Riot outside Embassy; U.S. Ambassador Rodger Davis and his assistant shot and killed

1975
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Japanese Red Army gunmen raid U.S. Embassy; no one killed.

1976
Lebanon
U.S. Ambassador Francis Meloy was killed by Palestinian separatist group along with another U.S. diplomat, Robert Waring.

1979
Kabul, Afghanistan
U.S. Ambassador Adolph Dubs is killed in a kidnapping attempt by Islamic extremists.

1979
Islamabad, Pakistan
Islamist riots destroy Embassy; two killed.

1979
Tripoli, Libya
Islamist riots destroy U.S. Embassy; no one killed.

1983
Beirut, Lebanon
Jihad car bomb destroys U.S. Embassy; 63 killed.

1983
Kuwait City, Kuwait
City al-Dawa truck bomb outside U.S. Embassy; six killed

1984
Beirut, Lebanon
Hezbollah-sponsored truck bomb outside U.S. Embassy; 24 killed

1984
Bogotá, Colombia
Car bomb outside U.S. Embassy planted by drug cartel; one killed

1986
Lisbon, Portugal
Car bomb explodes outside U.S. Embassy; no one killed.

1986
Jarkarta
Japanese Red Army mortar barrage; no one killed.

1987
Rome, Italy
Japanese Red Army mortar barrage; no one killed.

1988
Lockerbie, Scotland
Islamic radicals (Jihadists) blew a plane up — Pan Am Flight 103 — killing 270 people including 35 college students — mostly Gen-Xers.

1989
Bogotá, Colombia
Rocket-propelled grenade fired on U.S. Embassy; no one killed.

1993
Lima, Peru
Car bomb outside U.S. Embassy planted by Shining path; no one killed.

1995
Moscow, Russia
Rocket-propelled grenade fired on U.S. Embassy; no one killed.

1998
Beirut, Lebanon
Rocket-propelled grenade fired on U.S. Embassy by Hezbollah; no one killed.

1998
Nairobi, Kenay and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
al-Qaeda simultaneously attacks both U.S. Embassies with truck bombs; 224 killed.

2002
Calcutta, India
Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami gunmen attack Consulate; five killed

2002
Karachi, Pakistan
al-Qaeda truck detonates outside U.S. Consulate; 12 killed.

2002
Denpasar, Bali, India
U.S. Consular’s Office bombed by Jemaah Islamiyah

2003
Islamabad, Pakistan
Unknown gunmen kill two at the U.S. Embassy

2004
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Suicide bomber attacks U.S. Embassy; two killed

2004
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
al-Qaeda gunmen raid U.S. Diplomatic Compound; nine killed.

2006
Karachi, Pakistan
Car bomb explodes outside U.S. Embassy; two killed.

2006
Damascus, Syria
Gunmen raid U.S. Embassy; four killed

2007
Athens, Greece
Rocket-propelled grenade fired on U.S. Embassy by Greek rebel group, Revolutionary Struggle;
no one killed.

2008
Sana’a, Yemen
Mortar attack against U.S. Embassy; two killed.

2008
Istanbul, Turkey
Armed attack against U.S. Consulate; six killed.

2008
Sana’a, Yemen
Two car bombs outside U.S. Embassy; 16 killed.

2010
Peshawar, Pakistan
Attack near the U.S. Consulate; two consulate security guards killed along with six others.

2012
Benghazi, Libya
A group of violent protesters storm the U.S. Consulate; U.S. Ambassador and three staff members killed.

Trivial Pursuit Terrorism Edition — not  a game anybody I know wants to play.

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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