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By Micah Halpern

Thursday January 7, 2010


Terror is not our enemy. Terror is the strategy and acts of terror are the tool that our enemy uses against us.

Nine years after 9-11 and Western political and military leadership, specifically United States leadership, still treat terror as an enemy like all other enemies. Their problem is conceptual. They have not yet begun to understand the terrorist mindset. Until that synapse is bridged our protectors will never figure out how best to act and counteract, respond and counter respond, to terrorists.

Terror is not the goal of our enemies. The total capitulation of the Western world and all Western culture, the complete submission of the Western world to Islam is the goal of our enemies. Had they truly studied Islam our leaders would know that.

The meaning of the term Islam is total submission. Literally and figuratively, the agenda of our enemy has never been hidden from us, we are just too preoccupied with our own agenda, too narrow and too focused on Western thought and action to see the obvious.

We are defending ourselves against terrorists without really knowing what they want, who they are, why they make their decisions and how they intend to carry out their goal. The relative safety we have experienced until now has much more to do with lady luck and the ineptitude of terrorist operatives than it does with Western politics or Islamic regimes. The safeguards that were in place even before the acts of 9-11 that made it difficult for non-Western foreigners to negotiate easily and freely in potential target areas were an accidental stroke of genius.

Our counter-terror system relies on a good defense and that is its major flaw. We need a good offense, too.

A good offense means hitting people in their home countries.

A good offense means collateral damage.

A good offense means being immune to the names and curses and threats hurled at us by the countries that host and house terrorists.

At this stage in history the United States cannot have it both ways - the United States cannot both be loved and effectively protect American citizens from the terrorist threat. The changes in airport security policies that require added checks for people coming from and holding passports from fourteen additional countries is a good start. It is a late start, but it is a good start.

If you have to wait for the terrorist to infiltrate your airport before your can stop them, you are too late.

If TSA officials at local airports and their x-ray machines are the only barrier that separates American citizens from acts of terror, terrorists will succeed.

If there is only one security significant security fence, it will be breached.

The TSA is not there to stop terrorists from boarding planes. Their emphasis is on paperwork and luggage, not passengers. Bringing contraband, i.e. explosive materials and devices, into an airport is a simple matter of understanding the limits of the machinery. It is not rocket science. Almost everyone knows what an x-ray machine can and cannot see, more importantly, what it cannot distinguish. That is why travelers are asked to separate their toiletries into plastic bags, so that all liquids and vials that appear either full or empty can be checked.

And to think that airports are the greatest venue for terrorists to attack is, once again, to think like a Westerner, not like the enemy.

In the near future our enemy will not take us down. The goal of our enemy is too lofty to be successful. Our job is to prevent our enemy from causing too much damage. Our job is to prevent our enemy from taking too many of our lives.

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4 June 2017 12:13 PM in Columns

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