Terrorism- Chicken Little or a real threat

Thoughts at the end of an evening. Memories fade over time, they just do. Love, pain, success, joy, whatever, the memories of these events fade.

That doesn’t mean that you cannot bring up the same feelings again, but the deeper feelings, the kind that you can just taste, the feelings that envelop your whole body, well they fade a little. And I think that is both normal and necessary.

You can’t function if your day is spent in overwhelming joy or despair, a middle point has to be reached. And now we find ourselves approaching a middle point in time. It is a little more than 3 years since 911 and it seems to me that much of America has decided that it was a terrible event, but that it is long ago.

Now the purpose of this is not to try and scare you. I think that the people who hate America have been around for an awfully long time and I don’t think that it makes a difference to them philosophically whether a democrat or a republican is in office. Party affiliation is meaningless. IMO their issue is with the West and any country/people/organization that will challenge them in their mission.

And that mission is a restoration of the Islamic Caliphate and the eventual extension of Muslim rule throughout the world. This is not going to be a long post in which I cite chapter and verse to support this. If you don’t agree with it, you can stop reading and find something else that interests you more. I won’t be offended. Different opinions are to be encouraged.

But if you accept the premise that this is not science fiction and look at their objective you can see that this is an ideological issue that impacts the entire world. There are people who have a set of beliefs that say that they have divine permission to use whatever means necessary to achieve their goals. They are smart, educated, well funded and patient.

Within America I think that there are people who find it difficult to consider this to be a potential reality. It is much easier to look at very simplistic answers. They are angry at the US because we invaded Iraq, because we support Israel, because, because, because.

Other blogs will provide you with simple tests to try and prove those theories to be right or wrong. Again, today is not that day at the shack.

As the memories of 911 fade I think that many think that because there have not been any new attacks there must not have been any attempts. And that is very dangerous. I have had a number of discussions with folks who maintain that lack of proof means that they must not have happened. This is disingenuous and somewhat ostrich like.

Lack of empirical evidence does not mean that our government is not currently and has not been working on securing borders and preventing incidents from taking place. It is safe to say that incidents that have been prevented have not received immense press coverage. We have enough intelligence issues without providing our adversaries with more ammunition.

And broadcasting our having stopped these attacks could compromise our assets in the field.

Now there are those who claim that this is happy rhetoric on my part and that I am just blowing sunshine up the asses of you and myself. But that doesn’t ring true. If you look at the last 11 years you can find multiple attacks upon the US. There was the first attack on the WTC in 1993, the attack on the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, the attacks on the USS Cole, the attacks on the African Embassies and of course 911.

We are aware that the millenium bombing at LAX was prevented and have heard of a handful of other incidents. Does it make sense that the attacks would suddenly disappear or that they just haven’t managed to get back into the continental US. Don’t forget that I could have listed multiple incidents in Turkey, Tunisia, Morrocco and elsewhere. They haven’t stopped trying, we have gotten lucky. Eventually someone will succeed again.

So in my mind there are several issues here.

1) What do we do to successfully combat an ideological threat on a global level.

2) How do we rebuild belief in the government internally and externally.

3) What are we willing to do to protect ourselves.

I am sure that this misses a few other areas and that it definitely does not include subsets of these other issues. But all things must have a beginning.

And from a slightly different tack, I ask this question. Many people claim that the war in Iraq has created more terrorists and spurred AQ copycats. If you look at AQ as being a political party wouldn’t it make sense that there would be a left, a middle and and a right. And wouldn’t it be possible that there would be enough members to populate these offshoots, regardless of any US involvement.

Ok, it is getting late and old Jack needs some sleep. See you all in the AM.

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  1. Anonymous October 25, 2004 at 3:20 pm

    So, you mean to say the US doesn’t keep the saudis in power, that it isn’t occupying iraq, that it’s foreign policy isn’t based on self interests and that it doesn’t react quite differently to dictators that are equally brutal? I understand this is just everyday politics, but it arouses suspicion when you sell it as moral duty in a presidential campaign like bush does. The terrorists themselves are often the relics of disbanded foreign policy. Many of them are former mujahedin trained and supported by the US during the cold war. Bin laden himself was the american partner in the fight against communism. It’s unfortunate enemies have now traded places. However to deal with terrorism you must first understand it’s origins.


  2. Jack's Shack October 25, 2004 at 2:44 pm


    You and I are always going to disagree about some things. Just so that it is clear, I do not believe that all Muslims are bad nor evil. But I think that the radicals have become the face of Islam and until that is changed there is going to be a problem.

    It is not an anti-Muslim rant, it is anti-fundamentalist commentary. I take issues with fundamentalism of all stripes including Jewish fundamentalism.

    And I think that it is a mistake to buy into all the rhetoric for why there are problems, such as the claims of occupation of Arab lands. Some of those claims are false and disputed and when you accept these claims without debate you fall victim to many problems.

  3. Anonymous October 25, 2004 at 12:56 pm

    I enjoyed the beginning of the story, where you mention all experiences, how terrible or ecstatic they might have been, fade into memory. And that’s true. Most time is being spend in complete numbness, with occassional streaks of happiness or misfortune. But people get up and return to numbness. We are wired that way.

    Interesting as it is, it’s unfortunate the blog turned into an anti-muslim rant all of a sudden. With false conclusions about the origins of anti-western sentiments. I agree that perhaps a small amount of muslims, the salafists, want to see an islamic caliphate returning, and to achieve this the empire of the ‘crusaders’ must implode through terrorist efforts. By all means should this threat be dealt with by precision attacks, elite forces, strategic destruction and espionage.

    But the majority of discontent in the middle-east is due to occupation of arab land and support of dictators. It is the US who keeps the resented saudis in power. In other occassions however, like that in iraq, tirany is reason for war. This contradiction isn’t going unnoticed.

    Then there is the israeli conflict with the palestinians. Never will the US publicly disapprove of israeli aggression against the pals. Even during punishment expeditions, like those in rafah in the beginning of the summer when pal civilians were killed and houses were systematically destroyed, not a word of disapproval. And this also doesn’t go unnoticed.

    In these days of terrorism you want to isolate the perpetrators in an as small group as possible. But the opposite occurs, current and past foreign policy only breeds sympathy for terrorism. And this is lethal, as it forms the reserve for new terrorist recrutes.


  4. ricknight October 25, 2004 at 7:28 am

    Sleep well.

    I’ve enjoyed our little chat tonight, and while we disagree, I respect your views. I’ll leave you with this;

    “Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.” -Albert Einstein

    And in this “They” are as much to blame as “We” are.

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