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Focus Terrorism Prevention on Preventing People From Becoming Terrorists June 3, 2006

Posted by newsfittopost in politics, terrorism.

After receiving an unusual amount of emails in response to my last post, I thought it would be best to respond to questions and clarify my thoughts in the last post.

First… the take-away of my last post was that the best way to prevent terrorism is to prevent people from having the desire to become terrorists. This is the only long-term solution. The best way to prevent people from becoming terrorists is to create a world environment that encourages economic security and democracy, and it has been proven over and over again that this is not accomplished through waging war. A number of people have told me this is an oversimplified worldview and I agree with them to a certain extent. But diplomatic pressure and sanctions has proven much more effective than military takeover (would we be better off right now if we would have continued diplomatic pressure with Iraq instead of invading before true UN approval?)

Secondly… I am not saying jihadists or terrorists are reasonable people… at least not by the time they contemplate killing innocent people. I do believe that most were once reasonable, however, but were quickly set on the wrong path by oppressive cultures that are breeding grounds for violence. But they are a product of their environment and that environment can be changed over time. Is that solely the Western powers' responsibility… I don't believe so. But we must do everything possbile to help improve their environment. Our foreign policies have done great damage to many Muslims (Iran-Contra, Guantanamo Bay, etc.) and if we can't agree that this affects their perception of us, then we truly are in two different worlds. One person commented that Islam is a violent hateful religion that poisons its people. My thought… has the insurgency in Iraq grown exponentially because more people have become Muslim and therefore poisoned towards America, or has the insurgency grown because of America's actions? The United States cannot take full blame, but cannot deny its involvement.

Also… many attribute my views to a "Bush hater" mentality. Although I believe Bush has helped breed more terrorists than we had before he took office, I believe this problem existed way before he entered the Oval Office. America has coped with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, al-Qaeda's USS Cole attack in 1992, embassy bombings and more. We face a real threat that has existed for decades. These criticisms do not rest on Bush's shoulders alone. In addition, I think it is unlikely that Bush himself had any involvement in Abu Ghraib or Haditha, both of which have made a horrible and lasting impression on Muslim people.

Last… homeland security needs to be vigorous. Nowhere in my last post did I advocate less security… I just don't believe that security alone can prevent another terrorist attack on American soil. A fundamental change must happen, so why not make it part of our national security plan to help facilitate change in any nonviolent way we can? It will save us money, and more importantly lives, in the long run.

Call me naive or an idealist, but this simplified view could be the starting grounds for long-lasting progress in the "War on Terror". It sure as hell has a better chance of success than whatever we are doing in Iraq.



1. Vynette - June 3, 2006

You can call me naive and idealistic as well but there is only one way to attenuate the threat posed by militant Islam and that is to introduce doubt into the hearts and minds of ordinary Muslim believers.

Instead of side-stepping in fear of giving ‘offense’, strike at very heart and soul of the problem.

And what is that?

Why, the Qur’an itself!
This fountainhead of fervour and discord, supposedly an exact word-for-word copy of tablets existing eternally in heaven:
makes demonstrably false claims
is based on identifiable ‘fables’
is replete with historical and other errors
is not worthy of faith, let alone lives

To argue endlessly about what is meant by this word, or that word, or this idea, or that idea, is worse than pointless when the whole book can be, indeed has been, swept away by an even mildly rigorous scholarly examination.

Question the provenance and content of the Qur’an, publish fearlessly, and confidence in the Qur’an as the word of Allah will be severely shaken, just where it should be – in the hearts and minds of ordinary Muslims.

There is no other way!

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