why we have lost the war on terror

The title already has plenty of stuff to make this a very controversial article. But hey, someone needs to say this stuff.

Let’s make one thing clear: I don’t like terrorists. I don’t like what they stand for, and what they do. Attacking innocent men, women and children is something which is beyond the pale. I specially don’t like what terrorists did on 9-11.

But we are letting them win!

Ask yourself: what do terrorists want? The answer is quite simple: they want to change the target society (meaning us, not meaning the USA, but not excluding the Americans either). To bring fear to it. To make the government of the target change it’s stance on liberties.

And what do we do? We impose security rules that make air travel even more a pain in the rear then it already is. We start allowing law-enforcement to get easier access to wire-taps and internet connection taps. We take away one of those most holy of liberties: privacy. Freedom of speech gets nibbled on as well.

Essentially: we play right into their cards, and give them what they want. Fear, doubt, the feeling of having to look over our shoulders. People become more suspicious of the followers of Islam (of which I am not one), while Islam and the Koran explicitly forbid the things the terrorists did. We’re seeding hatred, and harvesting discontent among all the races on this earth.

What we should have done: Ignore them. Sure, we should grieve for those who perished. Off course, if we can find those who aided in committing these crimes, we should prosecute them – not kill them, that would only make them martyrs – and imprison them for all eternity. But other then that: ignore them. Do not change our way of life, because that is their target. They don’t like our freedom. They don’t like the liberties that are our right. They don’t like anything about us. That is why they attack us. By starting to take away those things from our people, we are giving them what they want. Which will only encourage other terrorists to do more of the same, to achieve even more of the same. Terrorists, because they are what they are, can almost never be stopped before they do their damage.

So what to do when/if it happens again (let’s hope not)? Simple: the British have an enormous good history of showing what should be done: keep a stiff upper lip. The British showed us that during the second world war, when London and industrial cities where bombed every single night by Hitler’s Luftwaffe. They took to the shelters, sat it out, and in the morning they climbed out, and started rebuilding that which was destroyed.
They showed us again, when the IRA was running it’s bombing campaign inside Britain, when London was shook up by assassinations and bombings more often then not. Did the British waiver? No, they kept a stiff upper lip and continued with their business.

When is the last anyone heard about the IRA? Well, they have their political party in full gear now. And it looks like peace is getting there slowly and certainly. Violence didn’t work, talking got them a heck of a lot further.

I think that example gives us everything we need. Faith, courage, and that darn stiff upper lip. We should not waiver, we should not cower. We should stand up brave and tall, and smile right back at them. And say: we are what we are, and you’re never going to change that. Up yours! And just go about our business like those terrorists don’t even exist. Because through that, they will loose their will, and their courage to sacrifice themselves, and when that happens, we can finally sit down and talk about the problems we’re having. And fix them.

to quote Benjamin Franklin (arguably):

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

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November 25, 2007Permalink 1 Comment

One thought on “why we have lost the war on terror

  1. While I completely agree with you, I fear that Britain is no longer a good example. While in the time of the IRA bombings the British might have kept their stiff upper lip, these days they are going right along with the USA and the rest of Europe. Britain is getting stricter and stricter rules on international travel, privacy and public liberties.

    I will not let myself be terrorized by terrorist plots, I am however also criminalized by governments that DO let themselves be terrorized. I refuse to travel to the USA, and will probably refrain from traveling (by plane) to other countries that impose strict border-controls consisting of fingerprint scans etc.

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