The Nature of Terrorism


And thank you both for inspiring this post.  (See?  Twitter isn’t useless. 🙂 )

Well… as an innocent civilian who hasn’t personally bombed anyone, it’s fairly obvious that I did not respond, directly.  But I do feel the need to make the record clear on where I stand in all of this, at least once.  Let there be no misunderstanding.

First of all, the definition of terrorism is rather simple.  The dictionaries may expand upon it, but we can see, these days, revelation of its bare bones.

terrorism (n.): a terrorizing act or threat of unconscionable use of force or destruction for the purpose of coercion.

(A distilled definition; use at your own risk.)

Basically, it requires corruption, particularly moral corruption.  It doesn’t just happen.  People don’t just find ideology, and political ideology at that, and those that do don’t necessarily go out and kill and enslave others.

There is no fine line.  It requires some degree of psychopathy.  So many boundaries have to be crossed in order to commit murder, any psychologist would tell you that.  But this goes beyond individuals finding something to exploit; this is whole networks of individuals finding something to exploit.

It really is evil at its finest.  We see today the gangland dominion of terrorist groups like al Qaeda and ISIL build upon the purpose of chaos for domination, trying to one-up each other.  Who can attack crowds of innocents better?  (While, of course, pointing the finger at the victims and their respective governments.)

The technologies of today may make the attacks more brazen, but terrorism by itself is quite old.  Way back in the early days of United States history, Thomas Jefferson had to deal with Islamic pirates in his time.  Something in the order of saying, their religion is Islam, but their god is money.

(As a side note, it’s pretty sad, when googling “their god is money,” that I found a host of anti-Semitic propaganda— you know, part of the whole “blame Israel” movement.  You have to be off in Wild Conspiracy Theory Land to believe the tiny country is responsible for all the bad leadership in the region… But I digress.)

I seem to do a better job answering the bigger question as a response, so… if I were to try to thoroughly respond to these guys above, I would say:

Terrorist networks are the most evil as they exploit everything they can, seeing as they need political “justification” for hunting down women and children.  It is the moral equivalent of school shootings, going after civilian targets, just as the vast majority of massacre shooters target gun-free zones.

The Taliban shot up a school, did they not?

And even though there is no excuse for terrorism, to play on your points of blame, I will admit that the United States has bribed and supplied weapons to groups for the purpose of holding something back— arming the Taliban to fight the Soviet Union in the ’80s for example.  Conspiracy theories may pop up on what the government is doing, but most of the time the answer is simply: incompetence.

I will admit that France, with its lax security, letting anyone that claims to be a reporter through even during the Paris attacks, made itself vulnerable.  At least one of the Paris attackers claimed to be a refugee, and got in that way, but there are so many safe havens— so many militants in France (which led to raids after the attacks).

But do we blame the victim of a crime for his/her vulnerability?  When a rape occurs, do we put the guilt on the victim for what the criminal has done?

I could go on just as the list of grievances (behind the militants) will go on to expand without limitThat is a terrorist network for you, exploiting weaknesses for the impression of strength in recruitment and structure.

These people are not fighters of a religion.  These are pawns of corruption.  Don’t fall for the claims of psychopaths.  There are real problems in the world, but don’t let them control you.

Still, I appreciate your words.  It is not a complete waste of time listening for good reason.  We still need to be able to predict and defuse future situations, so the details still matter.  The minds of the many that fall into the hole may be lost, but even black holes don’t last forever.

It is fair to say the future is brighter because we all know what happened to the Nazi regime; it may have sucked people in when it began to die, but it died nonetheless.

We have to educate ourselves, as modern militants are more educated than before.  And we have to be careful; because malignant psychopaths don’t care.

…Well, that’s where I’ll leave it.  Have a terror-free Thanksgiving, everyone. 🙂

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