Thursday, May 6, 2010

Times Square and the long war on terror

Taken from here.

"Let us not give them what they want from the Times Square incident: endless debates about threats we face from jihadists and debates about whether we are safer but not yet safe. Our adversary revels in the publicity from failed attacks. They spread the message that we are weak as we writhe in self-scrutiny about why security isn't perfect. Our adversaries take pleasure in being called jihadists, warriors. They want to be seen as gallant fighters, carrying a banner inherited from equally gallant forebears.

It is not so. The ideology unfurled by al Qaeda a decade ago may have had ideological resonance then; it has less now, as potential adherents understand that the only message is one of wanton bloodshed in pursuit of a goal that is unclear and unachievable.

Let Times Square go. Don't let our adversary glory in it. And, if the purported plotter, Faisal Shahzad, is in fact the perpetrator, let him rot without comment. If he did this, he is no jihadist, no revolutionary. He may be, instead, just a man bent on killing innocent women and children. That is not jihad. It is murder."

Philip Mudd is a senior research fellow with the New America Foundations' Counterterrorism Strategy Initiative. He managed Iraq analysis for the CIA from 1999 to 2001; during the George W. Bush administration, he served as the first deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Security Branch. He was nominated by President Obama -- and later withdrew his nomination -- as undersecretary of intelligence and analysis at the Department of Homeland Security in early 2009.

What I want to stress is the spirit of the article. We choose to live in a democratic society where we have freedoms and rights which, unfortunately, some violent people (Muslim and non-Muslim) use against us. We should not let such random spurts of violence scare us into taking back the freedoms and rights we hold so dear. It is much braver to stay the course of reason than it is to begin any sort of war on anything.

No comments:

Post a Comment