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A new model for fighting terrorism

Every now and then, someone trots out the tired old saw that in order to fight terrorism, we need to "address its root causes." They usually cite the poverty of the Muslim world as one of those "root causes," strangely overlooking the facts that 1) nearly all of the terrorists have NOT come out of poverty, but from lives of middle-class or privilege; 2) the vast majority of poor people do NOT turn to terrorism; and 3) the "poverty" of the Muslim world is largely a result of corrupt governments, and not a generally poor nation.

I have no problem with doing this, but I think we ought to deal with the imminent threats first -- and THEN worry about these "root causes." (I have my own suspicions just what those people who talk about such things really mean, but that's a topic for another time.)

Before, I've discussed the flaws of using a judicial model for fighting the war on terrorism. (In brief, it was tried during the Clinton administration and was a colossal failure.) And a purely military model hasn't worked perfectly well, either (although it was better than the legal model). So, maybe it's time for a new notion.

I think one idea that might be explored would be the medical model. (Disclaimer: as I am not a lawyer or militery scholar, nor am I a doctor.)

In medicine, when one has a crisis, one deals with the symptoms first, then you go looking for the "root cause." For example, when a patient is not breathing, you get them breathing again, THEN you start worrying about why they stopped. The first priority is always on short-term survival, THEN long-term concerns. That's why most medical professionals consider "the operation was a success, but the patient died" a truly obscene joke.

In the war on terror, we really do need to look at what is causing the terrorism. But first, we need to stop it. The repeated calls for "patience" and "restraint" and "understanding" all come with a price tag. And those price tags are almost always affixed to the toes of the innocent.

Once we've stopped the bleeding, then we can look for the ulcer. But diagnosing and treating the ulcer won't do any good for a corpse.


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Comments (19)

I'm an infidel and proud.</... (Below threshold)
k:

I'm an infidel and proud.

Well, I think we're quite c... (Below threshold)
mcg:

Well, I think we're quite capable of multitasking in this case. That is, we can study and work on the root causes while we are attacking the symptoms.

The only thing is, that's exactly what we're doing.

Of course, the lefties don't believe that, because they assume that we're the cause of terrorism. But I think you hit on it above: it's the oppression of the Middle East by their own that is the cause; and we and Israel are the scapegoats.

This is why nothing short of a complete political transformation of that region to true representative government---and barring that, its reduction to a smooth sheet of glass---will solve the terrorism problem.

OK, let's address the "root... (Below threshold)
Leftism = Slave Morality:

OK, let's address the "root cause" and implement in the Middle East the known things which alliviate poverty (democracy, free trade, free markets, etc).

Oops, that isn't what the Left wants.

The problem is, for varying... (Below threshold)

The problem is, for varying reasons of personal agenda, people differ about the root cause. Some want to claim religion itself is the cause -- because they find religion in general annoying. Some claim poverty is the cause -- because the solution would then empower the UN, which they worship. Some say the US is the cause -- because they hate the US.

Of course we all know that the real root cause is because they cancelled Star Trek Enterprise.

I'm afraid there's not much... (Below threshold)
michele:

I'm afraid there's not much more we can actually do to fight terrorism. Everytime we implement new security programs, the ACLU starts litigating, crying about profiling. As long as we're prohibited from profiling, it's hit and miss, at best. With the porous borders, prolific conversion of prisoners and other new Islamic converts, it's like emptying the sea with a paper cup.

As long as Islamic fundamentalists are willing to sacrifice their lives, it's impossible. to eliminate terrorism. As long as religious tolerance of mosques and Islamic Centers abound, it is hopeless. Unfortunately, it's not merely fanatics who interpret the Koran to incite Jihad. The evolved message of all of Islam is to eradicate Christianity, and kill all Jews and Christians, and those who will not convert.

I believe this is the end of the world as we know it. It won't be long before a cataclysmic event changes our world, and chaos ensues. Our freedom, and love of diversity, in the West, has nurtured, even funded, the very enemy who will eradicate our way of life.

Until we accept that we are doomed, and since there are far too many who can't accept that the root problem is Islam, itself, we are truly doomed. Maybe this is the way it's supposed to be.
I mean, I think it's the beginning of Armeggeddon.
There's no other hope than God.

What's become clear is that... (Below threshold)

What's become clear is that those who admonish us to look for root causes (I'm one of them) are in fact only interested in claims which hold US imperialism as the sole root cause.

The notion that Islam has something to do with it is anathema to most of these people.

Poverty isn't a cause of te... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

Poverty isn't a cause of terror, they only care that we have money, not that they don't. That goes directly to the idea liberals have that anyone with money must have cheated some poor person out of their share. Attacking the WTC and attempting to shut down the London tube system isn't enriching them in any way, it's only trying to hurt us financially. I really don't think they blame their poverty on us, they know their dictators are very rich but they rarely attack them. I doubt there's a Palestinian out there that wasn't aware that Arafat was stealing billions from them but they didn't strike out at him, they worshipped him and attacked Israel. They don't strike out at people who oppress them either, they strike out at the ones trying to set them free, they proved that when they concentrated on stopping the elections in Iraq. They aren't even doing much of a job attacking coalition soldiers, they spend more time and energy on their fellow Muslims that are doing everything in their power to take control of their country so our soldiers can leave. So you can take occupation of their lands off the list. So poverty, opression, and occupation don't bother them. As far as I can tell they have no reason other than hate and that kind of hate is insane. There is no solution to terrorism other than treating the terrorists like a virus and eradicating as many of them as possible.

005.069 YUSUFALI:... (Below threshold)
T.J.:

005.069
YUSUFALI: Those who believe (in the Qur'an), those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Sabians and the Christians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness,- on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
PICKTHAL: Lo! those who believe, and those who are Jews, and Sabaeans, and Christians - Whosoever believeth in Allah and the Last Day and doeth right - there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.
SHAKIR: Surely those who believe and those who are Jews and the Sabians and the Christians whoever believes in Allah and the last day and does good-- they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve

That's a quote from the Quran (the english translation at least). Just thought it might be worth showing.

Since there is no power of ... (Below threshold)
Amir:

Since there is no power of excommunication in Islam the terrorists cannot be formally banned from the community. But the community can distance itself from them in accordance with the Islamic principle of al-bara'a (self-exoneration). This means that a Muslim must publicly dissociate himself from acts committed by other Muslims that he regards as sinful.

One way of doing this would be to organise a day of bara'a in all British mosques - and hopefully in mosques throughout the world - to declare that terrorism has no place in Islam.

Muslims could also help by stopping the use of their bodies as advertising space for al-Qaeda. Muslim women should cast aside the so-called hijab, which has nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with tribal wear on the Arabian peninsula. The hijab was reinvented in the 1970s as a symbol of militancy, and is now a visual prop of terrorism. If some women have been hoodwinked into believing that they cannot be Muslims without covering their hair, they could at least use headgears other than black (the colour of al-Qaeda) or white (the colour of the Taleban). Green headgear would be less offensive, if only because green is the colour of the House of Hashem, the family of the Prophet.

Muslim men should consider doing away with Taleban and al-Qaeda style beards. Growing a beard has nothing to with Islam; the Prophet himself never sported anything more than a vandyke. The bushy beards you see on Oxford Street are symbols of the Salafi ideology that has produced al-Qaeda and the Taleban.

Some Muslims also use al-Qaeda and Taleban-style clothing to advertise their Salafi sentiments. For men this consists of a long shirt and baggy trousers, know as the khaksari (down-to-earth) style and first popularised by Abu Ala al-Maudoodi, the ideological godfather of Islamist extremism.

It would also be useful if Muslim preachers paid a bit more attention to God, which means doing some theology, rather than making speeches about Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq which are, after all, political, and not religious issues. The excessive politicisation of Islam has created a situation in which the best-known Muslim today is Osama bin Laden.

Islam must decide whether it wants to be a faith or a political movement. It cannot be both without being hijacked by Salafis or Khomeinists who have transformed it into a breeding ground for terror.

Amir:The muslim co... (Below threshold)
TheEnigma:

Amir:

The muslim community has already proven it has no intrest in distancing itself from either the terrorists or terrorism. Approximately one month ago, in Washington, there was an organized effort to get the muslims to do just that. What was the outcome? Approximately 50 muslims attended. The majority of muslims in this country refuse to come out and denouce either the terrorits or terrorism.

Also, it would be absurd to... (Below threshold)
Amir:

Also, it would be absurd to blame the current surge of terrorist attacks on the internet. Yet there is no doubt that the marriage of modern technology and malevolent medievalism has expedited the spread of hateful and hysterical propaganda wherever governments have not acted forcefully against the propagandists.

Open societies must find ways of modulating publc discourse without losing the openness that defines them. And there must be a clearer understanding that there will always be new causes for these extremists: the emancipation of women; the West's acceptance of homosexuality; the very existance of moderate Muslims, in Iraq and elsewhere, who are, in their moderation, "apostates".

The root causes are fear of... (Below threshold)

The root causes are fear of modernism, democracy, equality, and Western culture.

The solution is to push harder.

Any questions?

Maybe poverty works like se... (Below threshold)
brad:

Maybe poverty works like second hand smoke, contaminating those that live within it's vile stench. The islamo-fascists had to drive through poverty, on their way to work, maybe, and because of that decided they just HAD to blow up Americans.

Jay Tea writes: I... (Below threshold)
s9:

Jay Tea writes: I've discussed the flaws of using a judicial model... And a purely military model hasn't worked perfectly well, either... So, maybe it's time for a new notion. I think one idea that might be explored would be the medical model.

¿Como que dice?

Jay Tea explains: Once we've stopped the bleeding, then we can look for the ulcer. But diagnosing and treating the ulcer won't do any good for a corpse.

What an interesting analogy you've got going there, Jay. So tell me— what plays the part of the patient in this analogy? And more importantly, what is the disease and who is the doctor?

I can't wait to hear how this "new model for fighting terrorism" is going to work.

michele writes: .... (Below threshold)
s9:

michele writes: ...there are far too many who can't accept that the root problem is Islam... There's no other hope than God.

So... you're hoping that God will eliminate Islam for you?

It looks like the terrorist... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

It looks like the terrorists are trying to treat their victims now. Can anyone identify the pills taped to this bomb from London?

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/popup?id=979901&content=&page=9

This thread has,in case noo... (Below threshold)
Moon Monkey:

This thread has,in case nooone has noticed,,elicited some wide, varied and interesting thoughts on the Sand Bastards. The events of recent days only serve to support contentions that the Muslim community worldwide is lacking in integrity. How can it be interpreted otherwise? Where is the outcry,with actions to match,from their leadership?
Moments ago,the Figh Council (Muslimm scholars),have announced that they decry the acts of the terrorists. That's like me sending an e-mail to Bill O'Reilly condemning his personality. The point being that these people talk alot but they don't seem to want to do anything simply because they're afraid of each other!
Sand Bastards and their ilk are cowards,blinded -by-the-light and an above post by "mcg" is right on the money.

Yeah, I didn't think Jay... (Below threshold)
s9:

Yeah, I didn't think Jay Tea would have the guts to explain himself further. Again, no surprise.

Why wait for God to take ca... (Below threshold)
moseby:

Why wait for God to take care of things? We have the nukes to turn millions of muslims into ash.

Besides...will the World really miss them?

I think NOT!




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