My friend Nick posted this link on his blog, and it’s very interesting (and not the least because it’s an Australian newspaper).
The point is, we’re basically dealing with a new kind of terrorist here, the kind who hates “us” (by which I mean everyone who’s not a terrorist, which is basically everyone on Earth) so badly that they’ll blow themselves up just to kill a few of us. Consider that for a moment. These guys don’t have a political agenda, unlike the more traditional “terrorist.” They are killing us for the sake of killing us. It’s hopless for them, because, well, let’s face it, they keep blowing themselves up – the comparative rates of exchange are simply terrifying. They are like lemmings – just blindly jumping off a cliff, by the thousands, just to kill us. It doesn’t matter how many of us get killed, or how many of them get killed in the process (or due to our retaliation). I think you can safely define these people as INSANE. There’s just no other word to describe them.
Now, let’s get some things straight – in case you didn’t already know – I didn’t want to go to war with Iraq, and certainly not in the way we did (against the wishes of the UN). But, in retrospect (hindsight is a wonderful thing), it’s probably better that Sadamm isn’t in charge of a country anymore. Besides, no point crying about things you can’t change – especially if you can’t change them because they have already happened.
So, whether we like it or not (and whether we had invaded Iraq or not doesn’t matter, and you know it) we’ve got this bunch of crazy (and I do mean crazy here, as in the “certifiably insane” or “paranoid delusional” sense) folks out there who will do literally anything just to “strike back” at us (which, if you’ll remember, means everyone in the world). Countries that were neutral or even opposed us aren’t even safe – we’re all “infadels” to these guys, and there’s no way we can change that.
The fact is, it’s an ugly situation that I think everyone can agree we’d rather not be in. But like it or lump it, we’re in it, and we’ve gotta deal with it. Trying to find the leaders (if you can really call them “leaders”) of the terrorists is probably a good idea, but you know that even if we get them (or “him”, and you know who I’m talking about) it’ll just infuriate the rest of the bunch even more. The mentality of these people is kinda like a virus; it doesn’t have a “brain” (and it certainly doesn’t act in any rational manner), and it’s only goal is really just to propigate itself as much as possible, killing anything in it’s path. Killing a few big infestations isn’t going to stop the infection as a whole (though it might slow it down temporarily).
The real key here, as I see it, is to treat this not as a “war” that is fought with guns, but as an information war, a war against ideas and principles. If people stop thinking in this fundamentalist, extreemist way, then they will stop blowing themselves up near other (undoutably nicer, and certainly saner) people. Because as long as the ideas of these people continue to be propigated without restraint, more terrorists will pop up to fill the (gaping, smoking) holes left by their predicesors.
Now, granted, I have no idea how such an information war could be fought – remember, I’m thinking this out loud as I write it – but I do believe that this is the only way to effectively fight the problem – to strike at the source, as it were. Because, it doesn’t matter whether we (and remember, I’m saying “we” as in “the entire world”) try to fight terrorism with guns & bombs, or whether we sit back and try to keep our hands clean of the whole situation – they’re still going to come after us if they can.
Now, if only the people who continue to protest the war, and other things, would realize that it’s too late for all that and redirect their energies towards something more useful – like maybe influencing current policy, rather than policy that’s already been acted upon – we might be getting somewhere. But, alas, that’s probably not going to happen here in the US. I find it interesting that an article like the one above had to come from an Australian newspaper. It makes me wonder why noone in the US media has said anything like this before. Still, those Aussies are a laid-back bunch (I should know), and maybe that perspective is more useful in a situation like this.
We’ll just have to wait and see what happens… for now.