Friday, July 15, 2016
Labeling Terrorists Doesn't Defeat Terrorism
In the wake of yet another terrorist attack, this time in Nice, France during Bastille Day celebrations, the finger-pointing and mischaracterizations are running pretty thick in some political circles. Of course, any chance some people have, they will blame President Obama for every problem nearly anywhere.
In actuality, there’s not much that can be done to stop someone that gets behind the wheel of a vehicle that is determined to plow through a crowd of innocents in order to kill them.
Then, they move on to what we must call the people that are responsible for this violence, as if labels actually would magically alter Sun Tzu’s principles of The Art of War.
Labeling works well when living with someone with dementia to let them know where things are. It doesn't actually accomplish anything to stop violence predicated and supported by an extremist ideology. There are no amount of bombs or invasions that could ever destroy an idea that has its home in hearts and minds.
Some people might not want to understand why these violent extremists do what they do, but why would making the attempt to figure that out be so quickly demonized?
Labels don't win wars. Defeating the enemy does. This enemy isn't a nation-state. It's an ideology. Certainly, robbing that ideology of safe harbors is crucial, but understanding how and why it festers and robbing it of the fuels that contributes to its spread and its appeal that give it new lifeblood is even more critical.
Certainly, as we are the targets of its attacks, being divided and squabbling amongst ourselves makes us less safe as we're not focused on the real enemy.
Let's come together, because we're stronger together.
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