Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Day We Lost The War On Terror

People become terrorists because they believe that the current condition of the world is not as it ought to be, and they blame a specific group for this situation. Only a very small fraction of members in any group (Muslims, for example) become terrorists.

Small groups of terrorists have essentially no army and no weapons, so it is difficult for them to change the world order. So their strategy is to commit sensational and provocative attacks against the group they villify, luring them to retaliate against the broader organization that they claim to represent. This incites the broader group to take up arms against the enemy, thus giving the small group of terrorists the best chance of achieving their goal.

Clearly, the way to avoid succumbing to the terrorist plot is to retaliate only against the very narrow group of terrorists. You must be very careful not to attack the larger group, which would feed right into the terrorist strategy.

The day we lost the war on terror was a few days after 9/11. President Bush over-reacted to the attack. This human reaction was understandable, since he was surrounded by grieving widows and angry Americans. He created a doctrine that not only will we retaliate against Al Qaeda, but we will attack any nation that harbors terrorists or might be expected to harbor terrorists. We invaded the Muslim nations of Afghanistan and Iraq. This played right into the terrorist strategy of having the U.S. attack millions of Muslims, drawing both sides into a massive conflict.

The terrorists who committed the 9/11 bombings were already dead by the time anyone knew about the attacks. But the "success" of their mission continues to grow each day that we bring war to Muslims around the world. We must do a better job of staying collected and properly targeting our military responses after terrorist attacks.


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