War kills people; you cannot have a war without having people to be at war with. Terrorism, although terrible, can never really be an enemy; a terrorist is an enemy that uses terrorism. Before we can conquer terrorism we must first understand what it is and who it is. I am sure that the first thing that comes to mind when you think of terrorism is 9/11 and the Islamic suicidal attack that led the United States to attack the government of Afghanistan. Clearly the terrorist attack on 9/11 defeated us, but we can free ourselves again. That is if we understand the word “terror”.
Terror is defined in the American Heritage Dictionary as “1- Intense, overpowering fear, 2- The ability to cause intense fear, 3- One who instills intense fear, and 4- Violence committed or threatened by a group to intimidate or coerce a population, as for military or political purposes” Terrorism, therefore, is causing intense fear. So who is a terrorist except one who we are extremely afraid of? The terrorist attack on 9/11 changed the majority of the American people; it caused incredible fear that did not exist before. If you are now afraid of Islamic fanatics you are a victim of the terrorist attack.
To overcome that fear, is to defeat terrorism.
Is our military attacking terrorists “over there” in the Middle East? Are they eliminating terrorism? What those questions should picture in your mind is not Islamofascist’s, or rag headed cave men that strap bombs on themselves and commit suicide. Let me re-word the questions:
Are we attacking those who instill intense overpowering fear, in the Middle East? Are we eliminating intimidation and coercion through the threat or commission of violence?
I think a little common sense is needed. How can we defeat those we are afraid of? Doesn’t that require overcoming our fear first? Are we terrified by them? Terrorism is a method to attack your enemy. It is a way to subdue a population; a way to take away their will, yes, their freedom. We have taken away our own freedom exactly to the degree we are afraid. We are our own terrorists. It is impossible for a government to “give” freedom; for the absence of a dictating government is true liberty.
“Man is not free unless government is limited. There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.”- Ronald Reagan
We can find wisdom even from those we disagree with. I disagree completely with most of what FDR did, (our own Hugo Chaves), but I agree completely with this:
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself” – Franklin D Roosevelt
Another big government elitist that I disagree with a lot said:
“The best way to defeat this enemy in the long run is to deny them recruiting tools, recruiterments, made possible by resentment” George W Bush
The key word there is “resentment”. Most of the people I know who support the occupation of Iraq could care less about resentment from Iraqi’s, or Muslims, toward us. “Kill them all!” “torture them!” “Remember 9/11!” “Support the troops!” I believe a parallel can be drawn between these Americans now and Europeans during the Crusades. Most Americans are vigilante in spirit, including the President, including me, until we stop ourselves. We must determine the difference between vigilantism and justice. Justice is not what gave us the Iraq war, and it definitely does not keep us there. Justice did not give us the Patriot Act, nor the Military Commissions Act. Perhaps vigilantism didn’t give us this war in Iraq either; maybe it was our own fear, our own terror. I did not like Sadaam, and was glad to see him deposed, but obviously he was deposed by the wrong people, us. To me that was worse than leaving him as a tyrant. For the majority of the Iraqi people believe that we replaced Sadaam as the dictator.
The point is; no one can liberate a people except themselves, for liberty is self responsibility. Dictators throughout history invaded countries as liberators, they just never left.
“Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.” – Sigmund Freud
Terrorism, therefore, cannot be defeated unless we defeat it right here in our own hearts and minds. Stop being afraid and terrorism loses. The government cannot stop terrorism no matter how many wars they fight against it. Terrorism is a security issue, not a military conflict issue, unless we terrorize ourselves into believing that.
“At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reaches us it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide."- Abraham Lincoln