European Terrorism

The Obama administration tells us that the CIA drones are killing would-be terrorists with European nationalities in the mountains of Pakistan. This, to try and derail terrorist attacks in Europe. I believe all this; why shouldn’t I? Using some of the millions of Europe-based Muslims makes perfect sense in every respect for the violent jihadists. Several of the 9/11 terrorists had met in Germany already. So, this is not new.

The Time Square Bomber, one of the inside-job terrorists, just got a life sentence. He left the courtroom with defiant statements to the effect that he had dedicated his life to God. He sounded happy.

Think about it. He is a young man, still in his twenties, I think. He is unlikely to ever achieve anything at all. He will never be married. He will never have children. He will not see his parents or his siblings again except perhaps through a Plexiglas wall. At this point, one of his best prospects is to become soon one of the Aryan Brotherhood’s favorite girlfriends. Then, he will enjoy some protection, at least.

In general, I believe that people everywhere are much alike in spite of obvious cultural differences: They would rather be well-fed than hungry; they like a good night sleep; they love their children; they want to laugh. I have to make an exception for religiously motivated terrorists. They seem to belong to a different species. It’s worse, than this in fact. It’s easier to like a good-natured chimp.

Make no mistake, terrorism works, even when it does not. I keep reminded you on this blog and on my radio program that violent jihadists have murdered mostly Muslims. But, although very few people in Western countries have been murdered by jihadists since 9/11, the quality of life in those countries has deteriorated, perhaps forever. Our socio-political arrangements are more complex than those of retarded countries where they ply their trade most of the time. We have more to lose and what we prize is fragile precisely because we value individual lives.

Unfortunately, many otherwise intelligent people react to this self-evidence by entering into denial. I see more and more libertarians denouncing the pursuit of the anti-terrorist operations in Afghanistan. When confronted, they will simply pretend that terrorism is not much of a problem. Others will even suggest that it’s a made-up problem. I have to confront this issue in writing. It’s difficult to do because the fools are my friends, maybe my former friends, I am not sure at this point.

A pleasant detail in the anti-terrorism effort: Several American television channels show pictures of soldiers guarding the Eiffel Tower. Television reporters are normally superficial and uninformed. So, they miss the juicy details. I can tell you, based on their peculiar headgear, that the soldiers at the Eiffel Tower are mountain infantry. The French are frivolous but logical. Paris is flat overall, but the tower is high. Get military there who could climb if needed. Cool!

About jacquesdelacroix

I am a sociologist, a short-story writer, and a blogger (Facts Matter and Notes On Liberty) in Santa Cruz, California.
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4 Responses to European Terrorism

  1. Lawrence Marcus says:

    Jacque: I would be interested in listening to what you think would be the reaction of the French; if islamic terrorists were to blow up the Eiffel Tower? I can’t help but think that some incredible act, such as this, will finally break the “West’s” tolerance.
    It seems like it must be full speed ahead for the building of the Mosque at ground level zero, now that the news media has gone on to something else.

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      The French are not the worst offenders in their response to Islamists. The French government just passed a law giving a stiff fine to any man influencing a woman to wear full face covering (and a small fine to any woman wearing it). This is a highly symbolic act. It forces French Muslims to take sides.
      I don’t see how anyone could do more than small damage to the Eiffel tower. It’s built of nothing but steel, remember. I am not an engineer but it seems to me its shape makes it much less vulnerable to crumbling than the Twin Towers. I think such an attempt would have little long-term effect. Look, Americans left, of course, but many libertarians as well, already don’t see the point of prosecuting the war in Afghanistan to prevent the return of those who protected Al Qaeda.
      I don’t know what it would take to make westerners act resolute. I think, perhaps, it would have to be an American government that acts resolute. Bush won his war in Iraq. Nobody is talking about this except Fouad Adjami. (Today’s WSJ).

  2. David says:

    I think it would take the imminent destruction of western society for the west to become resolute. In the west, tolerance of others among the highest of virtues, and until it is overtly obvious that western society will be co-opted and/or destroyed, we won’t see the west acting resolutely. Look how the west treated Hitler before WWII; appeasement was the order of the day until Hitler became so visibly bellicose, aggressive and of questionable sanity that the west (read England and the U.S.A.) finally found it’s spine, stood up and took up arms against Hitler’s evil. Nothing short of the prospect of annihilation will wake up western society to the enemies we are faced with.

    Not that that should surprise us, we’re very wealthy compared to most of the world, we like to enjoy our leisure time, we like to be self-interested and self-centered. Westerners enjoy hedonistic living as best they can, with whatever means they have. If I (or any other western male) were enjoying a sensual experience with a woman (or multiple women) would I really care if there might be some quasi threat a dozen miles away? It would take the audible sound of gunshots to stop that party. Is an obese man going to get up from the buffet, when he isn’t full, if he isn’t getting forcibly moved? No. Do kids want to remove their eyes from the TV to go clean their room without an immediate threat? No. Do people regularly clean house unless they’re expecting company? Hell no. Westerners are accustomed to enjoying life until there is an imminent threat of some kind. After the threat has passed, westerners will return to life as usual.

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      I am both more optimistic and less optimistic than you. The threat will never seem imminent and we may never perceive it clearly. Much of the West is not as lazy or passive as you say. As compared to the people of most Third World countries (China big exception, I suspect), Americans are competent on the whole and even hard-working. I think our present political keadership is to be blamed for the current passivity. President Bush was not passive and he won one of his two wars. Period.

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