The Old Man On The Mountain

A View From the Backwoods of NH

My Take On Terrorism

When I grew up the threat of terrorism was different. It was the threat of cold war agents – sleeper agents, espionage agents and attacks on military establishments. There really wasn’t a threat to the general public, because collateral damage like that could escalate to a nuclear war in a heartbeat – and nuclear war was what we feared the most. But today it’s quite the opposite – the general public is in danger, from both I.E.D.’s and the threat of a “dirty bomb” – and there is no one country to attack for reprisal.

In my day, all of it could be turned off by the respective “super power” that was delivering the damage. It was calculated and controlled. Today there is no control – sure, there are factions like Al Qaeda or ISIS – but most of the damage is done by radical branches that attack in the name of their chosen faction, rogue radicals that can and will attack at any time and for any reason. And who are these radicals – why that’s simple – they’re murderers. Anyone that puts killing before diplomacy is a murderer, plain and simple. And terrorists are not diplomats.

And in their minds, they’re winning their war. How you may ask? It’s simple – they have no regard for collateral damage. They understand that, to win their war, sacrifices must be made, and the collateral that they destroy is merely the means to an end. There are no “innocents”, there are only those that got in the way of “the cause”. This may seem uncivilized (it is), but it is effective, and it generates fear of reprisal from all that witness it.

Unfortunately, the rest of the civilized world believes that collateral damage should be kept to a minimum, that “innocents” should come first, and they put the loss of collateral life before winning the battle. And you’ll never win the war on terror by being nice and thoughtful. My Mom used to tell me that it takes two to fight – and she was right – one to do the pounding and one to either pound back or take it. And the terrorists know that we’ll take it.

You can’t stop one person from taking another person’s life – but you can stop group terrorism. The way to do this is simple – you need to play by their rules, and you need to lower yourself to their level. Terrorists are not ghosts – they cannot do what they do without someone either knowing or suspecting. And by not reporting this suspicion, it makes those folks just as guilty as the ones that commit the act. When cell locations are identified, you can’t wait to clear the collateral, you need to attack. And hopefully once everyone realizes that, to allow terrorists to exist in your environment means probable death instead of just the possibility for reporting them, the necessary encouragement will exist for people to speak up.

It seems that Brussels was the latest target because of the arrests of suspected terrorists from the Paris bombings. Kind of like a “we’ll show you what happens when you arrest our bombers” act of revenge. I can’t believe that they didn’t expect that to happen. And then there’s the criticism of Obama, for dancing in South America while the rest of the world is “standing in solidarity” with Brussels. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan of Obama, but is this the same “rest of the world” that has seemed conspicuously absent from ponying up bodies and money for the war on terror that America’s been sacrificing for over the last 14 years?

I also read that Belgium rounded up “7 suspected terrorists” days after the bombing of Brussels. My question is, why weren’t these people rounded up before the bombings? Why didn’t their actions matter until someone died? It’s not like they “snuck in and began activities” after the fact. They’ve been there for a while, from what I’ve seen. And how many others still go unreported?

You can sit there in silence and indifference, until it happens to you, or you can join America, Great Britain and the rest of the Countries of the World that actively participate in the eradication of terror. It’s not just the military that needs to be involved, it’s all the people of the World.