On winning the war on terror - Jay Maynard

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Saturday, 22 March 2003

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0752 - On winning the war on terror

youngvanwinkle wrote this in a comment in wbwolf's LJ, which I can't reply to directly...so I'll reply here. (Regarding recent comments about writing replies here instead as comments to the journal entries: if I could reply to the comment, I would.)

We can't win the war on terror fighting it the way we are now, as a traditional war against nations. All we're doing is playing into the terrorists' hands. The only way to combat terror successfully is to remove the support they get from their countries' citizens; that is, the only way to truly prevent terror attacks is to remove the reasons that the public of those countries support them. And what we're doing does exactly the opposite of that.

This boils down to a simple statement: We can't beat them, so we might as well surrender. To that, I can only politely reply, BULLSHIT!!

Giving terrorists what they want is a recipe for more terror. As people see that terrorism gets the desired results, they will engage in more of it, and more, until they've gained everything they could possibly hope to want.

The only real answer to terror is to stamp it out ruthlessly whenever and wherever it occurs, and destroy anyone and anything that supports it. This can't be done by governments acting alone, but a vigilant, armed citizenry can do it. Yes, this means allowing the average, law-abiding American to arm himself, including aboard airliners and other places likely to be attacked by terrorists. If a terrorist knows that he's likely to get blown away before being able to turn the deaths of Americans into his own special political statement, he'll think twice about trying.

current mood: [mood icon] determined

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[User Picture]
Date: - 0000
Oh, wow. You completely distorted everything that I said.

I didn't say that we should give the terrorists what they want. I said that we should give the general population what they want. (With the understanding, I guess I need to add though I thought it was implied, that they'd hand over any terrorists they've been harboring.) This actually seems to be not too dissimilar from the arguments for war in Iraq; we go in, liberate the people, give them democracy and a better way of living, and they'll theoretically love us for it and no longer have a hatred of us that allows terrorists to thrive in their midst. The two problems with this argument are that 1) how they feel about us when the war is over will depend on how much we can avoid killing civilians and 2) Iraq hasn't really been a state known to harbor terrorists, except for the Kurds in the north which we've actually been protecting from Hussein's reach through our no-fly zones.

Reacting to hatred with hatred only allows the two to feed off each other and grow. And doing what you suggest without giving any regard to why terrorists are popular in their home countries in the first place will possibly diminish the ability of terrorists to carry out their acts all the time, but it will never stop attacks from happening.

Aiding an impoverished citizenry that has only had terrorists take its side so far is not surrender of any sort. It is fighting a war on the most important front--the political front. It would be a way to win the war with fewer bullets, not more.

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