Posts Tagged ‘Terrorism’


September 10, 2017

“Sea Eagle”, jane kohut-bartels, watercolor, 2001



That beautiful morning–

Teasing taste of early Autumn

The unthinkable happened

And our world stopped turning

I saw the plane, I saw the fire

I saw the smoke descend like

A blanket of blinding grief

Too late to spare those on the ground

The sight of Armageddon.



Mortar-grey people transformed

Into gritty moving statues,

Holding hands, blinded by smoke,

Move down streets where

Paper, bricks, metal, glass rained down

Like the Devil’s Ticket Parade,

Walked in silence towards the bridges,

Barely a moan heard,

An Exodus unexpected on this

Morning of such seasonal promise.


I saw worse.

I saw people jump

From the ledges, holding hands,

Some with briefcases

And all I could do

Was howl:


“I will catch you!

Jump into my arms

I will not drop you.

Do not be afraid,

Aim for my embracing arms,

With the last of my life—

I will catch you.”


That day of fire and ash,

Inexplicable funeral pyre,

Of brave souls rushing in

And frightened souls rushing out

And the ash, the ash, the ash,

Covered everything like a silent September snow.


Sixteen years later

Grieving when this day approaches,

I hear the words swell up in me:


“We will catch you!

Jump into our arms,

We will not drop you.

You will not be forgotten,

With the last of our breath–

We will catch you.”


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 9-11-2011-2016, (This poem, “9-11” was published in “Pitcher of Moon”, and can be purchased at Published, 2014)

We will not forget.  For many (most) of us, this was the first clue as to terrorism on such a  scale.   Fred and I watched as the second plane hit that tower.  May those terrorists and all that support their actions roast in Hell.  We will not allow them, regardless their country, to destroy the US.

Just a note.  My only boyfriend in Princeton High way back when, told me after 9-11, that he walked through the city, (he worked there…) and it was an exodus of grey and gritty people, silent, only a moan heard rare…and he walked until he found himself on the New Jersey Turnpike….and got home to Princeton.  God, we don’t write these things without the experience, the direct experience of others.  That puts the blood in the veins of our poetry. Thank you, Jerry…wherever you have blown to.

“Striking Fear and Terror”…..

August 18, 2017
My beautiful picture

My beautiful picture

(taken by camera, East Morning Sky. )

I am writing this on my computer, no pre-plans for this blog entry, but hearing of the  slaughters of citizens in Barcelona, Vic, etc. and today, in Turka, Finland.  Finland.

By now most people have heard of the massacre in Spain.  Three not-so coordinated attacks, and people killed in each attack.

But Finland.  The country of too many lakes and very cold weather.  “Several men” ran through the crowd knifing people.  At least 5 injured, and one mother pushing a pram with a baby, dead.

The attackers got away so far.

What is happening?  Only the promise of these ISIS drones, to strike fear and terror into the hearts of everyone but them.

So what should we do?  This is an attempt to create world wide fear.  And with a lot of precautions, I think Churchill had it right:  “We only have to fear fear itself.”

And what could some of those precautions be?  I would keep updated on what was happening around the world.  Never so close, do I feel, to another world war as now.  My father fought in WWII, and there has been no real peace around the world since then.

I was one who prepared for Y2K.  It was an exciting time, when we thought something would happen of some importance in the world.  It didn’t.  But!  Many of us had toilet paper for a year!  And lots of weevils in the beans and wheat we bought.  Total loss.

This present situation with our mad dog president going nose to nose with the other mad dog president for life …..US and N.Korea,  this certainly doesn’t give any of us a ‘peaceful feelin’.  It strikes fear in our hearts, frankly.

I think we are in an uneasy time of it.  We are bombarded with too many important concerns and between alt-left and alt-right fisticuffs and tearing down monuments, and N.Korea and now the terrorism in Spain and Finland, for Christ’s Sake!

I’m open to any suggestions for the preservation of life.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017



Beyond Manchester: The real issues of surviving terrorism.

May 30, 2017

This is an article sent to me very recently.  I thought it would be rather outlandish, but upon careful reading and consideration, it answered so many of the issues I had around our response to terrorism and our feelings of despair.  It’s like we are siting ducks.  Manchester was the last straw for me.  Targeting children at a pop concert, and the death of so many innocents just can’t be seen as “terror business as usual”.  I’m sure that some will counter with “ISIS et al. were birthed by Western policies on Afghanistan and Syria.”  I’ve heard all that before and again.  I just don’t care anymore about the so called origins of terror.  I can’t do much about the children killed by ISIS, etc. in Aleppo, except write poems about this horrible tragedy, nor can I do much about many things in life.  But I can use this blog and other sources to bring what I feel is right in the face of this continuing terrorism by a bunch of barbarians who hide behind a religion to kill and destroy cultures that they feel they can.  I am only posting a small section of this article, as I have written for permission to post this here.  I believe this is important enough, speaks to so much of our confusion around terrorism to do this.



“After the terror, the platitudes. And the hashtags. And the candlelit vigils. And they always have the same message: ‘Be unified. Feel love. Don’t give in to hate.’ The banalities roll off the national tongue. Vapidity abounds. A shallow fetishisation of ‘togetherness’ takes the place of any articulation of what we should be together for – and against. And so it has been after the barbarism in Manchester. In response to the deaths of more than 20 people at an Ariana Grande gig, in response to the massacre of children enjoying pop music, people effectively say: ‘All you need is love.’ The disparity between these horrors and our response to them, between what happened and what we say, is vast. This has to change.

It is becoming clear that the top-down promotion of a hollow ‘togetherness’ in response to terrorism is about cultivating passivity. It is about suppressing strong public feeling. It’s about reducing us to a line of mourners whose only job is to weep for our fellow citizens, not ask why they died, or rage against their dying. The great fear of both officialdom and the media class in the wake of terror attacks is that the volatile masses will turn wild and hateful. This is why every attack is followed by warnings of an ‘Islamophobic backlash’ and heightened policing of speech on Twitter and gatherings in public: because what they fundamentally fear is public passion, our passion. They want us passive, empathetic, upset, not angry, active, questioning. They prefer us as a lonely crowd of dutiful, disconnected mourners rather than a real collective of citizens demanding to know why our fellow citizens died and how we might prevent others from dying. We should stop playing the role they’ve allotted us.

As part of the post-terror narrative, our emotions are closely policed. Some emotions are celebrated, others demonised. Empathy – good. Grief – good. Sharing your sadness online – great. But hatred? Anger? Fury? These are bad. They are inferior forms of feeling, apparently, and must be discouraged. Because if we green-light anger about terrorism, then people will launch pogroms against Muslims, they say, or even attack Sikhs or the local Hindu-owned cornershop, because that’s how stupid and hateful we apparently are. But there is a strong justification for hate right now. Certainly for anger. For rage, in fact. Twenty-two of our fellow citizens were killed at a pop concert. I hate that, I hate the person who did it, I hate those who will apologise for it, and I hate the ideology that underpins such barbarism. I want to destroy that ideology. I don’t feel sad, I feel apoplectic. Others will feel likewise, but if they express this verboten post-terror emotion they risk being branded as architects of hate, contributors to future terrorist acts, racist, and so on. Their fury is shushed. ‘Just weep. That’s your role.’ ”


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017, from an article published on “Spiked”.



Manchester, 22 Dead, 120 Wounded. (Manchester Evening News)

May 23, 2017

I can’t get my head around this.  Children as victims of savage terrorism.  And how long are we to suffer this?  These craven cowards who target youth.  And what should our response be to all of this and of the future?  “Stay Strong” is what we hear.  Don’t let the terrorists win or change our behavior.

Perhaps we should change our behavior.  I was watching a British program called “Home Fires”, a weekly series of a small English town that was bombed repeatedly.  This wasn’t about the Blitz, but what these citizens faced was much the same, only in smaller doses I would think.  They had civil defense units made up of citizens, and both men and woman had their roles.

For many of us we boomerang between anger and tolerance.  But perhaps this should change, too.  ISIS has no love or concern for whom they kill.  We are all potential targets and all just ashes and dust to them.

We open our borders and allow people from these Muslim nations to come in and settle amongst us, but should we?  I realize that it is a small percentage of terrorists that carry out their destruction from these families, but are we so blind to their end game?  Today I found out that this terrorist that blew himself up was born in 1994 in a suburb of Manchester from parents who came from Libya.  And this village has a high percentage of Muslims being ‘watched’ by the authorities.  This Salman Abedi was known to authorities (just 22 years of age) as a potential terrorist, a potential risk but for some reason he dropped off their list.

And Manchester saw last night the results of all of this.  Nail bombs are a particular ugly way to kill.  And that is what this bastard coward prepared and used.  With 22 killed, half of them children, and 60 seriously injured, and still a dozen or more ‘missing’….. what will it take?

I have no answers, but life doesn’t seem normal or sane anymore.  The future of our nations are our children.  We must do something for them to have a future, and we must do something soon.

Plus….driving to a doctor’s appt. this morning, NPR had an interview of a British Commander who expressed strong solutions to the terrorist situation.  Since, according to him, the territory of ISIS/Taliban is shrinking in Afghanistan and Syria, once as large as Indiana, there will be ISIS fighters returning to their home countries:  UK, Germany, France, etc.  What to do?  These are trained fighters, dangerous men, with every intention to continue their ‘war’ on these home fronts.  This Military Commander, and I can’t remember his name or title said this:  There were two solutions.  One, deport them immediately. Send them back to where they were fighting: Afghan. or Syria.  Doesn’t matter that there isn’t a system or organization in these countries to absorb them….that’s their problem.  Dump them at the airports.  Let these countries figure it out.  The second solution was internment camps, if the deportation process wasn’t fast enough.

All this seems radical and unimaginable.  But after Manchester, I don’t think anything now is beyond the pale.  Either action is taken to stop terrorism on home fronts or we will just ‘have to live with terrorism’ as the Muslim Mayor of London said.

If anyone heard this discussion from the BBC carried by NPR this morning, please tell me.  I want to know who this Commander is.  Did a search but couldn’t find the interview.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

Islamic Terror in Paris….

November 14, 2015
Marianne of France

Marianne of France

 What has happened in Paris is unbelievable.  Well coordinated attacks on sites of mostly young people, with the purpose of creating fear, panic, a macabre political ‘statement’, along with death of innocents. . Am I surprised? No, just shocked. It was bound to happen and won’t be the last time.  Open borders where people are not checked, no passports, no real history of their actions and behavior in their home countries….though at the present time it looks like these were French Muslim terrorists, home grown though probably trained in ISIS camps in Syria.

We are now informed that the terrorists were wider spread, even unto other European countries and back to Syria.  A worldwide web of savagery.

It’s not like the world wasn’t warned as to what was coming: it’s just that people put it aside, believing it would happen ‘elsewhere’, that the threat and action of this savage violence wouldn’t touch them.  But it does, and it will again. No country is ‘safe’ from this sort of violence. The terror is already here and people feel like sitting ducks.

“Sitting duck” can breed hysteria and chaos. It can breed extreme right wing movements that become part of the problem of lawlessness.  It can create homegrown militias but then again, perhaps this is a reach back into our earliest history as a nation.  There was no standing army, the militias were the soldiers.  I come from the Glines brothers in New Hampshire.  Five of them serving in the Revolutionary War. They were, these militias, the standing army.

But we do have a standing army, and we also have the various National Guards. My son served 4 years in the Navy recently, and is now serving in the National Guard.  I would guess  he would be part of the ‘standing army’ if called.  For selfish reasons, I want Peace.

I am 3/4’s of the way through “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich”.  It’s taken me 3 years to complete this book.  I had no idea how important this book would be to my present understanding of what is happening today.  The 1930’s and 40’s certainly lay the basis for WWII….and I can’t stop thinking of the similarities between the invasions and terror of the early Nazis (it was to get much worse…..) and what has happened in Paris last night.

Whether Brown Shirts of  1930’s Germany, or the black clad killers of ISIS:  their ideology all leads to death and destruction in the name of what?

You can call it religion, or ideology, but in the hands of evil, it renders death.

  Our hearts are with the French people but our heads should be pulled out of the sand.  Extreme violence such as we have seen in Paris, etc. will call for extreme measures from our governments.  The safety of our citizens and country depend upon a clearer understanding of what the world is facing.  We are not an island. We are a web.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, November 14th, 2015

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