Last Comments on Terrorism

This is it. I swear. A couple of round-up of points lurking in my head from reading essays from people smarter than me:

A. The point of terrorism is to create terror. Killing people generates terror… but so does the threat of killing people. When a threat can clear an airport and tie it up for two days, why bother with the real thing?

B. Because people massively overreact to the threat of terrorism, it is cost effective to set a terrorist up to fail. Actual terrorism, like the recent hit on the CIA post in Afghanistan, is expensive and incredibly risky. Getting caught means giving up vast time and resources.* Imagine the time spent getting a mole so close to CIA agents that the mole could bypass even basic security. Amazing.

However, slapping some explosives into some guy’s underwear is cheap. They don’t have to work. The guy just has to get caught to bait the US into an overreaction.

Besides, actually setting off the explosives is not a desired result because we tend to bomb people. But an overreaction to a failed and ludicrous attempt? Gold.

C. All these technological devices and security measures and pat-downs and random searches don’t work when the terrorist wants to get caught. That’s the entire point of terrorism! Drug mules have a different model of hack from terrorists since they want to get through undetected. Terrorists want to be detected! That’s the entire point of terrorism!

Terrorism doesn’t work when no one notices. Just something to think about next time you’re stuck in line at the airport.

D. America must return to being the Land of the Bold and the Home of the Free. I want to punch every person who screams about Government in their Medicare but is okay with strip searches of children in airports**. It’s time for the US to give the entire edifice the mocking it richly deserves. Reality happens. People are idiots. People do stupid and sometimes horrible things. We deal with it, grow up, and move on. I would rather be Proud than be dragged to their level.

And that’s it! I’m done. At least until something else stupid happens.

* One of the many reasons we see very, very, very little actual terrorism unlike in the rest of the world is that the US is protected by an enormous moat. It is expensive and difficult to get agents into the US instead of, say, 20 miles down the road. Of course it can be done and it /has/ been done, which is one of the reasons we are so crazy, but it’s very rare.

** You know who you are. You are on notice.