Article: Asymmetric Peace - Text Copy
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Most people are now familiar with overt forms of terrorism and its repercussions for our day-to-day lives. Kidnapping, hijacking, homicidal bombing, assassinations and international monetary crimes are common themes in everyday news. Yet, not enough of us are aware of the more subtle, covert and complex aspects of terrorism and its growing intellectual and economical influence in our lives.
The terrorists' end-game is to so frighten us that we not only cower in fear, but are converted – that is, our fear produces a change in our attitudes and beliefs regarding the terrorists and their cause. Terror masterminds know that most people are risk averse and would choose the path of least resistance to avoid adversity at any cost, even if that means appeasing those who engender the risk.
The process of appeasement, whether overt or secret, occurs over time and follows a predictable pattern. When people are so intimidated and so fearful of being victims, their fear is transformed into an unconsciously surrender. Their acquiescence is accompanied by attempts to “understanding” the conflict from the terrorist point of view. As Westerners, we apply Judeo-Christian values in our attempt to accommodate the current conflict into our perception of reality. Accordingly, in order to feel justified in fighting those who wrong us, we impose scrutiny on ourselves, such as; “Perhaps we brought the violence upon ourselves by our past actions? Don’t they have legitimate grievances against us? Did our leaders mislead us to wage war for selfish purposes? Maybe it’s our fault? Maybe we’re the real terrorists?” This approach ultimately fosters sympathy for the terrorists and can evolve into overt support for their cause (as is already happening in Europe).
Additionally, as Americans, we also believe in establishing a “high moral ground” to “justify” any aggressive action that we might take. We feel compelled to exhaust all other options before we resort to the use of force. Diplomatic negotiation, dialog with terrorist-supporting nation states has become acceptable options for decreasing risk of terrorist attacks. As a result, the mantra of “peace and reconciliation through dialog” has caught hold on increasing sectors of Western societies.
These outgrowths of political correctness are being exploited by the terrorists and their supporters alike. They know that in order to win they must make us weak from within. To do so they strive to create doubt and mistrust among and they manipulated the media for that purpose. We are made to feel guilty about our choice to fight and to feel solely responsible for the inevitable consequences that go with any war. We are accused of being, evil, imperialistic, racist, unjust and too aggressive. Their propaganda is intended to persuade us that we are wrong which in turn makes us second guess and distrust our political leadership.
Appeasement always encourages violence. If you cower before a bully in an attempt to placate him, all you accomplish is to make him more confident, more demanding, more contemptuous of you – in other words, your weakness literally transforms him into an even bigger and more dangerous bully. Islamic militants regard goodwill gestures and concessions as nothing more than contemptible weakness and an irresistible invitation to take advantage.
To forgive, forget, and accept are noble notions for citizens of any nation. Yet, tolerance and multiculturalism should not be confused with the acceptance of radical ideology and appeasement of uncivilized hate mongers.
We need to keep in mind that fighting a war against terror is not a popularity contest. It is a fight for survival. Global jihad can succeed only if we lose the battle for our own hearts and minds.
Determining Our Future – What To Do
This country was built on actions not words. For a long time many of us have pondered how we, as individuals and as a society, could make a difference in this fight against terror and bring about more peace in the world. Here are a few recommendations:
First and foremost, we must all help provide for those soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan when they return home. Nothing can be fairer and more justified than that. As well, we must not forget our allies in the war against terror and acknowledge their sacrifices.
Our leadership must stand fast against any attempt to “re-define” the conflict and what we are fighting for. With regards to terrorist violence, lines separating right from wrong are clear, and every American, Republican or Democrat, should recognize enemy propaganda in attempts to blur these lines.
We must not shrink the use of force to establish the rule of law in the Middle East while at the same time provide avenues for prosperity, business opportunities, education and health care for those courageous enough to break away from the oppressive regimes.
We should resist any attempts to lower our standard of achievement so that other “less developed” (less opportunistic) societies can catch up. Doing so will undermine everyone’s progress and play into the Jihadists’ plans. Instead, we should apply the Cold War strategy used to break the Soviet economically by forcing them to keep up with us and continue to set the pace for progress in the global economy. This will force terrorism supporting states to stop bankrupting their own economy with weapon spending and abandon their societal control ambitions in favor of industrious development. To compete with us they will have to abandon their totalitarianism.
We need to increase our efforts to develop an alternative to the internal combustion engine and to the use of petroleum fuel. Reducing our co-dependency on oil would break the back of the oil states and deprive the mullahs of the funds to export their medieval ideas.
We need to step up our educational outreach to the Muslim world to champion the joys of freedom and self-determination, of tolerance, equal rights and prosperity for all. A better use for our media technology would be to offer Arab speaking programs (especially for children) that would provide an alternative to the hateful brain washing propaganda broadcasted by states like Iran and Syria and terror organization like Hezbollah and Hamas. The Jihadists have a bankrupt ideology, and in today’s information age, people cannot remain ignorant forever.
We must celebrate courage. It is important to remember that fear is self destructive. It is in contrast to the human natural state of being. The human spirit cannot strive under oppression, and the oppressed ultimately revolt against the oppressors. Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and atheists, we were all born to be free. The ideals of liberty are sure to prevail in the information age. The more fear terrorists attempt to promulgate, the more courage will be cultivated. Eventually, information itself will be the demise of terrorism. It’s an unavoidable process, yet it does not occur on its own. It requires unwavering determination to not let fear control our lives and the revival of the indomitable American spirit.
To be truly free we must have the confidence of knowing that we can protect ourselves and our loved ones from anyone who may try to force their will upon us. We must cultivate the ability to resist oppression of any kind and be prepared to defend ourselves from those who want to terrorize us. Being free is about never being afraid to speak your mind, doing what you believe in and becoming who you truly want to be. I believe that free Americans are fearless Americans.
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