THREE SIMPLE FACTS ABOUT TERROR
By Micah Halpern
Thursday December 31, 2009
It's a simple fact: There are people who want to destroy us and there is nothing we can do to change their minds.
It's a disturbing fact, it's a scary fact, but it is a proven fact and the sooner we acknowledge it, the better off we will be.
All terror is not alike. Political terrorists can be swayed - Islamic terrorists cannot. Vengeful terrorists can be swayed - religious terrorists cannot.
Al Qaeda terror is Islamic terror - it is religious terror. We do not have the power or capability to stop al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorists from hating us and wanting to destroy us. We can stop their actions, we cannot change their minds.
And yet, there are people who refuse to see the fact. And some of those people are in positions of power, some of those people are our leaders. They are simply unable to wrap their minds around an idea that terrifies them. That, too, is scary.
Here's another simple fact: Fighting terror is an offensive, not just a defensive, mission.
Many of those people in power who refuse to accept that fact that we cannot change the minds of terrorists who want us destroyed have no problem sending out helicopter gun-ships to destroy known enemies, gun-ships that might accidentally kill civilians along with their intended targets. They have no problem dispatching soldiers to attack enemies who we know have concrete plots to attack us.
It is the abstract versus the concrete. Religion is abstract. Maps and plans are concrete. The terrorist who has not yet put pen to paper, hand to grenade, explosive to body, is as dangerous and intent upon killing us as the terrorist who has. In the world of terror, thought and action are synonymous.
Religious i.e. Islamic terrorists cannot be educated by us, neither can they be re-educated by us. They hate us because they hate us and there is nothing we can do to change their minds, nothing we can do to prove that we are not worthy of their hate. They cannot be convinced and they cannot be bribed. They want to cause us pain, they want to destroy us and they want to destroy the symbols that represent us.
It's nice to see that there are people who believe that there is good in everyone - but in a leader, it is dangerous. It is kind to give people the benefit of a doubt - but not when those people are mass murderers.
I understand the mind and the world of Islamic terror. Unfortunately, our president, the president of the United States of America does not.
These terrorists will never be moved by compassionate pleas or promises or acts of good will and kindness. These terrorists are not like Anarchists or Maoists, they are not the Weathermen or the Uni-bomber or Timothy McVeigh. The politics of Islamic terror dwarfs these anti-establishment sentiments in America.
Here's the final simple fact: The only way to fight terror is by guarding ourselves, by searching out the terrorists and by destroying them.
We, the United States and the Western world cannot do this alone. We must convince those who host terrorists to help us. Hosts of terror, as opposed to their guests, are open to argument and bribery. They can shut down the terrorists' bases of operation and force them out.
Not all of Islam teaches a hatred of non-believers. Believers who subscribe to those other, more peace loving, Islamic teachings will be the first step in bringing religious, Islamic terrorists towards embracing other forms of Islamic tradition. They can do it. We cannot.
Note: In deference to certain people in positions of power I have refrained from speaking about the War on Terror and chosen, instead, to use the term fighting terror.
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