Friday, September 14, 2007

The Threat (reworked)

NYPD document:
"[T]he transformation of a Western-based individual to a terrorist is not triggered by oppression, suffering, revenge, or desperation. Rather, it is a phenomenon that occurs because the individual is looking for an identity and a cause and unfortunately, often finds them in the extremist Islam…"
Daniel Pipes:
Interestingly, the NYPD acknowledges that it needed time to reach this level of sophistication: "Where once we would have defined the initial indicator of the threat at the point where a terrorist or group of terrorists would actually plan an attack, we have now shifted our focus to a much earlier point," when the process of radicalization begins.
The outcome of the "war on terror," I submit, will have less to do with breakthroughs in avionics or intelligence coups than with the degree to which civilized people understand the nature of their enemy and join together to fight it.
Melanie Phillips comments:
[T]he NYPD has now realised that the threat to the west does not arise with the terrorist plot but far, far earlier, when the process of radicalisation begins. And it’s that process that the west has so conspicuously failed to address.
Similar to the NYPD, our national focus must be on "the point where radicalization begins." This is why our enemy is not merely Al Qaeda terrorists who plan attacks - and that is where the left misses the point. Our enemies are underneath the terrorists - and are propping them up. Our enemies are
  1. Those who succumb to the region's cultural malaise of non-achievement, victimhood, and blame; and
  2. Religious ideologues who take advantage of the cultural malaise for their own evil purposes. They game the intricacies of the honor-shame culture, and mine it's weak points for human product.
Our goals should be to convert Group 1 to a culture of achievement and personal responsibility; and to either convert, marginalize, or kill Group 2. These are generational goals - even multi-generational goals. Unstoppable advances in weapons systems mean these goals must be achieved. Weapons advances make terrorists horribly dangerous.

I don't believe there is much difference between terrorists generated in the West vs. terrorists generated in the East. In neither case do I believe the major cause of terrorist generation is "oppression, suffering, revenge, or desperation". In both cases I believe the major cause is: "the individual is looking for an identity and a cause."

A last note, from Daniel Pipes:
[L]iberal commentators repeat inaccurate claims about "all Americans" suffering from "a huge and profound ignorance about Islam" (as the president of the Union for Reform Judaism, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, just put it...)
Radical Islam is not an unfathomable black hole which exists in some mysterious universe. Radical Islam is simple, and easily understandable. If an average American pays attention, he or she will understand it well enough - as many Americans already do. These Americans understand the threat is more profound than the latest terror plot; and the threat is more profound than the next 50 terror plots. Melanie Phillips:
It's the ideology, stupid.

No comments: