Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Why Have We Been Afraid to Make Martyrs?
John Henke at QandO believes we may have been pulling our punches in finding Bin Laden

While killing bin Laden would be satisfying, we're not at war for satisfaction. We're at war to reduce the threat of terrorism. A living bin Laden is a danger to the US; a running bin Laden less so. A dead bin Laden, however, is very dangerous to the US, as he becomes a martyr, a motivator, to the terrorists around the world. His death focuses existing terrorists to strike, to retaliate.
Such a retaliation would be very difficult to stop. We could fight against a plotting "global network". It's harder to fight against 10,000 rash and angry individuals.
Again, I'm no conspiracy theorist, but I do wonder if we might not be allowing bin Laden to twist in the wind, while we deal with first things first. And the most important thing is the Al Qaeda network, which poses a threat when bin Laden is alive...and more of a threat if bin Laden dies a "martyr".

Here's a thought - maybe it's better to give the terrorists what they want - martrydom. Ariel Pasko at Front Page Magazine has already suggested this.

One key morale point in terror circles is the idea that we Westerners are more afraid of death than they are. Refusing to martyr their "heroes" only confirms this belief to them - while they glory in dying to serve their religion, we remain a bunch of cowards who can't even run the risk of temporary anger. My thoughts are that refusing to martyr their leaders might not raise our security - in fact it could cause terrorists to think we are soft and willing to respond to "pressure". We all know what the effect of our appearing weak during the 1990s was - our present, post 9/11 world.

To avoid this, perhaps the unthinkable needs to be done - Give their leaders martyrdom. Afterwards say things to the effect of - "he's dead, we don't give a fuck, and your next asshole leader will die a painful death too, and we don't care if you are pissed." Yes, we will inflame that part of the world possibly to our detriment. On the other hand, every time Bin Laden, Yassir Arafat, or the leaders of Hezbolah/Hamas speak as living people, its also a detriment as it serves as another rebuke to our show of confidence. How can we seem to be a civilization not to screw with when little men openly plot our destruction and dare us to take their lives, yet we continue to negotiate?

So what would happen if we took them up on their dares? Some say these martyrs will become like Obi-Wan Kenobi, more powerful in death than life. Maybe at first, but what happens after the hunderth famous martyr, or the fivehundreth? Will the terrorist world keep memorizing lists of 250 of them? 500? 1000? Skeptics might say that the arab street would get angry. Angrier than already? They might do something? More than already?

We are at war with enemies that do not pull their punches. Let's not pull ours. For it isn't making us look like anything other than cowards we all are afraid deep down that we are.

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