The First World, with the two biggest symbols of international power, the World Trade Center, and the symbol of military leadership of the developed world, the Pentagon, was attacked by people resenting being manipulated and forced to deal with a much richer, ever changing, powerful world. We must remove this cancer of criminals attacking civilians to force their desires on other people with terrorism from the world politic. Over sixty nations lost lives in the attack, many more have lost their livings, and yet more will suffer from the economic repercussions.
If we choose to use a civil paradime, we can find and incarcerate those who would harm randomly. Ossama Bin Laden is smarter and saner than Charles Manson, but his aim is not that different. They should share a fate, for attempting to benefit from having others murder indiscriminately should result in prison. By using Saddam and Bin Laden as proxies against the USSR, we created loose cannons, which we must now secure. While prison is unlikely to correct problems that lead to this, it will not create a generation dedicating their lives to another act of terrorism in vengeful memory of their martyr. The more Christian approach allows preventing terrorist action while the families may visit a loved ones, something we would desire. Reducing the stakes will allow us to win the hearts and minds with helping allies and the neutrals to live better, and incarcerate the criminals, rather than use enemies to fight enemies, creating more enemies. How do you stop a feud?
Also bear in mind the similarity of actions of the terrorists and hate crimes. These are actions taken against people who may be only loosely associated with something, suffering the full hate and destructive power of those not capable of solving a perceived problem. Same action, different scale.
My own best interest extends beyond myself. I could never cooperate with the killers, but must do my best to stop them, and trust that if I fail, others will build upon my efforts and succeed, like the passengers of the fourth plane. No one lives forever, and it is better that I risk myself than allow others to destroy my world.
Why declare war? War is fight between governments, which is not what we now face. The declaration of War has been used to motivate action to an end, but when the paradime does not fit, the war fails. The war on poverty, and drugs have failed. We declared the U.S.A. has been attacked. Much more has been attacked. International trade, order, and civility have been attacked. The military is designed to destroy a military instrument of imposing control by war, resulting in a finite result. We must do far more in imposing a civil framework of protecting the world, it's people and trade, in perpetuity. Doesn't that sound a lot like fighting the Mafia? Isn't it in truth Organized Crime?
Some of our strengths have been used against us. We trust people to try to act in their own best interest, and expecting things to be used as intended, allowing more freedom, and saving effort for productive purposes rather than stopping things. We now must learn a much more difficult lesson. People may work against their own best interest, and use things in ways much differently than intended. "There is nothing that can not be used as a weapon." Fear has been used to attack civil liberties, displays of patriotism used to persuade the ignorant that the U.S. is anti-Muslim, in spite of Kosovo. Changed thinking is required, for Star Wars has been shown to be silly. Why would anyone use a missile of questionable effect and great expense, when you can usurp another's resource against them, and disrupt far more, with no target left?
We must understand what the true causes of terrorism are, and address and eliminate those causes before criminals can use those motivations to destroy our world, just as we must learn about storing a pile of oily rags in the garage in order to save our homes.
Copyright © 2001 Norman Montgomery; All rights reserved.