Thursday, April 18, 2013
Every political act has a political motive, crazy or not. Terrorism is a tactic: that tactic serves a goal. You blow people to chunks to bring about the Caliphate, the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, etc. The heavenly end justifies the hellish means. Stating the obvious, I know. Not so obviously, terrorism is a lousy tactic—at least in terms of big picture goals. I.e.: somebody tell me the last time a ruler or a government caved because of terrorist tactics. “Well, gee, Osama. I guess you’re angry at the USA. Uh, sorry you feel that way. We’re pulling out of the Middle East starting now.” Basically, this never happens. Terror tactics redouble the opposition of the perceived enemy. In terms of track record, it’s a loser’s tactic. My conclusion: it’s a tactic of those who—at some existential level—are convinced they can’t win. You feel pain: you blame your perceived enemy: you make them feel your pain. That’s it. The means doesn’t justify the end. The means IS the end. A punk drops a cinderblock from a freeway overpass; another punk leaves a pressure cooker bomb at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. (Significantly, the bomb was at the finish line.) Losers can’t win, but they can make the winners suffer. That’s all this is.