One individual now has the power to drive a van up to a building and demolish it. One person can now end the lives of 168 people and alter countless more. One person can change the landscape of an entire city. This individual does not need weapons of mass destruction; they do not even need an army. One person can do all of this with anger and time.
With all this new-war mongering going on about Iran and all the fabricated reasons we attacked Iraq, people forget that a war on terror is completely useless. Terrorism is an act of violence by an individual against civilians to promote a cause or agenda. You cannot have a war against an individual. A country cannot declare war on Paris Hilton, even though she likely has damaged America far more than any Iranian citizen possibly could.
The only way to effectively control terrorism is to establish a fascist state. If the individual is severely limited, then every individual will be secured against other individuals hurting him or her. But, this much power in government hands opens the opportunity for the government to abuse its citizens. “V for Vendetta,” the Nazi regime, and Japanese internment camps show us clear-cut examples of a government with too much power.
So, where is the proper balance? When does the government have enough power to protect its citizens properly? I believe no such balance exists. A government can easily defend itself against other countries with minimum power. An organized army can defend against another organized army. But an army can not effectively stop an individual. The violence in Iraq shows concrete examples of this. Our army sets up a checkpoint, hoping to limit access to an area and better defend it. The third car down the line contains a suicide bomber that quickly demolishes the checkpoint. Chaos ensues.
Chaos is the primary goal of terrorism. Chaos brings attention to the political/spiritual/idealistic cause. Terrorism is the weapon used by the powerless against those with power. Bringing down the might of the most powerful army in the world will do nothing to stop terrorism. The conflict in Iraq has only bolstered Al Qaeda’s ranks. The Boston Tea party cost Britain 45 tons of tea, yet helped spark a revolution. Desperately throwing grenades at my superior video game opponent kills us both. Chaos is an effective weapon.
If a war is futile and fascism is out of the question, how are we supposed to stop terrorism? I do not believe we can. I feel it is a by-product of our modern age. One individual with enough time, effort and insanity can do whatever they’d like: blow up a building, mail bombs to people, mail anthrax to Congress and fill millions of inboxes with spam. So unless we limit all individuals, terrorism is here to stay.
A war on terror is as useful as a war on despair. Quick, attack all the Emo kids! It is time we looked for the source of all the hatred and anger against the United States instead of attacking countries. I believe this takes a long, hard look at our interventionist foreign policy. One of the reasons Osama Bin Laden started to get political was because of the military bases we set up in Saudi Arabia and our unwavering support for Israel. The fact that we cannot keep our noses out of other countries’ affairs is the reason we are despised.
I hope no one reading this honestly believes that the terrorists hate us for our freedom. This load of manure may win votes, but it `doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. Why didn’t the terrorists attack the Netherlands? They are free to smoke marijuana and even have brothels! Perhaps it is because the Netherlands doesn’t pester as many other countries as America.
We cannot stop all terrorism at its source. Timothy McViegh and the Unabomber were just plan crazy. In fact, we cannot stop terrorism. We can hope to limit it. And for limiting terror, when did a war sound more effective than diplomacy?