Mar 30, 2016

Busting Dumb Clichés about Terrorism

via Henry Dampier

There are many dumb clichés uttered about terrorism in the wake of any attack.

One of the more important ones to debunk is the notion that Islamic radicals are the people who cause problems.

The public organs often say that ‘radical clerics’ cause ‘radicalization’ or that otherwise ordinary Muslims become ‘radicalized’ after watching too many cool beheadings on Youtube and reading too many Al Qaeda PDFs.

The responsible press people want to do this to draw a distinction between peaceful, law-abiding Muslims and the types of people who detonate nail bombs next to baby carriages in airports.

This is a foolish distinction to draw.

Terrorism is a disquieting demonstration of power that synergizes well with instantaneous global communications technology. It can make people in Chicago nervous from a small explosion thousands of miles and an ocean away. The bomb isn’t just a bomb: it’s a media event.

It also generates results vastly disproportionate to the resources spent on it. A cheap bomb combined with some expendable people results in billions or even trillions of dollars of wasted expenditure on security while also serving as an effective recruiting advertisement for other political organizations.

For states, it also creates more demand for state services. It’s win-win-win all around except for the people who get blown up, the soldiers who have to fight in the wars, and to the broader society which could have used the resources in less wasteful ways.

But back to the stupidity of the distinction between the radicalized and the normal-law-abiding-tolerant types.

The greater threat is actually posed by the large populations of ordinary people who will change the overall character and political nature of the West.

Terrorists are just producers of political theater. The ordinary people are the ones you need to filter out, because not only do they provide a comfortable community that fighters can swim in, but they create a sustainable and growing ethnic faction that will cause greater political and cultural instability far into the future.

One bomber kills maybe 10 or 20 people and makes for exciting television. One mother produces somewhere between a few and a dozen new foreigners who will change the host culture in more profound ways over a longer period of time.

The terrorists are just dramatizing what’s going on over a longer period of time in an instant.

This is why the focus on terrorist plots as mysteries to be solved by genius detectives, spies, and other super sleuths is quite stupid. The plots are just plots of stories which are much less consequential than the larger reality of population replacement.

Figuring out which cleric radicalized whom and where the guns came from is stupid. Stopping the bombing with some last-second waterboarding but allowing the movement of millions of foreign people into your country is extra-stupid, as in stupider than an entire Special Olympiad stupid.

If anything, all the super-sleuthing and high-tech spying just makes the overall situation worse because it reduces how many embarrassing bombings there are, which adds to the sense of alarm among the general public.

Turning your otherwise nice country into Morocco, Iraq, Syria, or Pakistan is the great stupidity. Not catching a bomber or two is an understandable error. The problem is not the bomber, but the ordinary people with ordinary views from the country that he came from who now live in your formerly nice country.

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