Monday, August 30, 2004

An interesting wakeup call

My old boss forwarded me one of those e-mails that contain a transcript of a speech given by someone that you are never quite sure what the true source is. As near as I can figure, this is legitimate. Feel free to debunk if you can. I found a version on the web. It's called AMERICA WAKE UP and is interesting to me for a couple of reasons. First, it is a very good chronology of the major terrorist activity against the U.S./U.K. for the last 25 years. Second, Capt. Dan Ouimette manages to draw all the wrong conclusions from his data...

His central thesis appears to be that the acts of terrorism are not criminal acts, but rather acts of war. As such, the U.S. is on the right track in waging war on terrorism. Invading Iraq and Afghanistan is a logical extension. He doesn't come out and specifically say those things. That was just the sense that I got when I read it. He does explicitly state we are at war, though.

So, my first question is with whom are we at war? I know. The terrorists. I think we can all agree that terrorism is a bad thing. The problem is that wars are typically fought between sovereign nations. You know, nations that are...that have...well...sovereignty. (Couldn't help myself there.) So, which is the sovereign nation sending out all the terrorists? It can certainly be argued that Afghanistan was under terrorist control. And I don't think most people or nations had a problem with our war in Afghanistan. But that didn't win the war on terror, did it? There are many nations that harbor terrorists. Does that mean that they are all terrorist nations? If so, then we have to declare war on all of them. So, we have to go to war with Iran, Libya, Yemen, SAUDI ARABIA, Lebanon, and many other Middle Eastern nations. That's the problem when you wage war on an ideal. It's really tough to win. War on drugs, anyone?

My point is that you can't defeat an ideal in physical combat. You have to look at the root cause of the philosophy and understand why people turn to it. The solution is not to kill the terrorists. They are planning on martyring themselves anyway. Killing them only supports their cause and gets people on the fence to think they are right.

Now, I'm not suggesting we negotiate with terrorists. I am suggesting we negotiate with the pool of people that terrorists draw from. Educate them. Feed them. Clothe them. When they see we are caring human beings with their own eyes, they are less likely to turn to the radicals for guidance.

And by the way, this isn't really a war on terrorism. This is a war on radical Islam at a minimum, and possibly a global Crusade (capital C intentional). If we were truly opposed to terrorism, I'm sure someone in the administration would have come out and condemned this stem cell lab bombing. Perhaps the bomber is at war with unholy research. After all, a mandate from the white god can't be evil, can it?