Saturday, September 27, 2014

Losing the "war" against terrorism - latest installment

A story broke the day before yesterday that a woman in Moore, OK was stabbed and beheaded by a man who had just been fired from his job.  This man happened to be a fan of radical islam, so suddenly this nutcase becomes part of the ISIS/ISIL conspiracy to inflict islam and sharia law on the US.  Watch out folks, the terrorist sleeper cells are spreading through Mexico and penetrating everywhere.  We're all in mortal danger of being beheaded!!  Everyone who immigrated from the Middle East is a jihadist ready to inflict islam on us all!!

Get a grip, people.  This is simply fear-mongering to keep the expensive and unnecessary "war on terror" going - it's very profitable for the weapons manufacturers, the military, the police, etc.  Many politicians love to beat the war drums and portray themselves as strong proponents of the very American rights they've been so instrumental in taking away, all in the name of "protecting" us.  The simple fact is that the number of people in the US who have died as a direct result of terrorist acts since 11 September 2001 is quite small.  The odds of being killed by a terrorist are now considerably less than being killed by a tornado, for example.  More of our troops have died in wars on foreign soil than were killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center (both of them), to say nothing of the physical and mental wounds inflicted on those troops not killed in those wars.

Terrorism is a clear indicator of the military weakness and cultural isolation of the islamic terrorists.  If they had the remotest chance of inflicting their religion by a direct military confrontation, history suggests they would do so.  After all, that's what the christians tried to do during the crusades.  Nowadays, no group in their right minds would succeed in a set piece confrontation with the firepower of the US military.  Therefore, the terrorists have torn a page from the US tactics in the Revolutionary War (and used by the Vietnamese communists in the US's Vietnam War).  They hit and run, always so as to create maximum horror, and use that fear to intimidate their enemies into massive military expenditures (which are simply a black hole for precious resources:  they produce only destruction when used, and are a complete waste when not used), and disruption of their societies by massive, mostly useless "security" measures that destroy the very freedoms we claim separate us from them (the terrorists).

Terrorism will never be defeated by direct military action and attempts to kill off the terrorists.  Never!  Violence only begets more violence.  The way to suppress terrorism is to make it irrelevant.  To pay little attention to it.  The screaming headlines terrorism generates are among the many goals of the terrorist actions - they spread the paranoia at no cost to the perpetrators, and attract the sort of bizarre folks who are only able to derive a sense of self importance through the pain they inflict on others.  By perpetuating fear, we serve the ends of the terrorists, not ourselves.  When we give up our rights for the illusion of security (e.g., "security theater" at airports), we serve the ends of the terrorists.  When ordinary citizens cringe in fear at every headline and see terrorists everywhere, we serve the ends of the terrorists.  When we elect chickenhawk politicians who portray themselves as "strong" against terrorism, and send our troops to fight and die in pointless foreign wars, we serve the ends of the terrorists.

No American should give in to the irrational terror of the jihadists (or other terrorists).  Resist the urge for vengeance and go on about your lives without unfounded fear.  See terrorism for what it really is:  a direct admission of weakness.  That's the way to become a "soldier" in the "war" against terrorism.  This does not imply a capitulation to the terrorists and there are times when direct action against terrorists is both warranted and effective.  If we learn of a terrorist cell, take it down.  If a terrorist is running amok in a mall (or whatever), shoot him like a mad dog!  Protect and serve.  But spreading fear and breeding suspicion are not the answer, nor are invasions of foreign territory with the sole purpose being to eliminate terrorists.  These are inevitably counter-productive, as recent history has demonstrated so clearly.