It’s hard to write a column on an Easter Sunday night such as this one, with hundreds of people dead and injured in Sri Lanka, the result of yet another “terrorist” assault.
I have grown unfond of the word terrorist. Coward and idiot are a better fit. I started tracking both the word and the deed back in the late ‘70s, when terrorism first came into common usage following attacks in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. The leaders back then were very open about their motives and objectives. As we know, they were intent on increasing the costs of protecting people and infrastructure in an attempt to collapse western economies. What we seem to recall less is that they said by attacking innocent civilians they could cause people to hate and fear Muslims to the point that there could be a global cataclysm — a war against Muslims in which all “moderate” Muslims would be forced to join out of self-defense. The goal was that out of the embers they could build their utopia.
It is hard to see how their strategy wouldn’t work, since we already have several examples including the recent killings at the mosques in New Zealand. The terrorists seem to have an unrestricted time line and an inexhaustible supply of idiots, so time is on their side. Sooner or later, common folks will have to fight back. How many cultures, how many cities and how many governments can practice “tolerance” to the point that nobody can go to bed without a flak jacket?
To me, our current anti-terrorism protocols are insufficient, and, therefore, foolish. The test is simple. Will our various societies’ anti-terrorism protocols achieve the desired result? That is, will we be able to mitigate the terrorists out of existence? So far, making airports inaccessible has not seemed to diminish terrorist activity. They have moved on, and we are left holding the bag. It’s called shutting the barn door after the horse is gone.
If our protocols are not sufficient, we are facing a terrible truth: we are saying the current rate of innocent bloodshed is within allowable costs. We are willing to take the losses to maintain our position.
Don’t get ahead of me. I don’t have a solution. It is not my job to have a solution. However, it is my job to take an objective view of social/political/economic landscapes and shed some perspective. From this perspective, it appears there is no public discourse on how we can eliminate risk and cut costs in the field of terrorism, even while we have proven records of eliminating risk and cutting costs in business. Instead, we have turned over our politics and policies to a generation of lawyers, poli-sci majors and bureaucrats. Does that strike you as smart? I could be wrong, but I don’t think ignoring a war is a good way to win one.
I heard again on the news the other day that the Democrat party is once again courting the youth vote and is lobbying for the reduction of the voting age. If any 25-year-olds out there are reading this column, do you understand this is not a compliment? They are calling you stupid because you can be talked into policies that your elders have seen tried and failed so many times we can’t count them.
I don’t like calling people stupid, but sometimes there is simply no other word. For example, when a cop is in training, he or she can try multiple times to approach a suspected felon in a car. As a trainer, you can push him or her to try again, keep your hand on your gun, stay behind the person’s left shoulder, etc., and fail and try again. However, once the rookie is on the streets, there is only one chance to get it right. Training and performance, discipline and order are designed to overcome cowardice, intoxication and evil over the long run. Screw up, and you’re dead.
I saw the Mueller Report last Friday. Good Friday. In it, Mueller finds, “While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
Have we gone daft? I don’t really care what your position is on Mueller, Trump, Barr or whomever. But just THINK about what he said.
I have never robbed a bank. Trust me on this one. However, even if you and I know that I never robbed a bank, is there any cop out there, any district attorney or any prosecutor that would write a letter exonerating me? Or you?
The answer, of course, is no. No prosecutor will write a letter exonerating me or you from bank robbery. That is because it is not the job of the Executive Branch of government to exonerate. The executive’s job is to receive the report of a crime, investigate to discover evidence and form a case. That case is then reviewed and a decision is made to file charges or not file charges. THERE AIN’T NO FREAKING EXONERATION!!!
Exoneration is the role of the judiciary, assuming a case has been brought.
Of current concern, the Legislative Branch of government seems now to have had a taste of the exhilaration of prosecution, and is ready to legislate itself a badge and gun. It is not enough that the Mueller Report is only one in a series of investigations leading to a single conclusion, but it is not good enough. Now we need Jerry Nadler sitting askew some steed, looking prenatally inebriated, with a pearl-handled Colt 45 (gun, not malt liquor) in his right hand and a gavel in his left. This is how legislators can become administrators, as well.
Anyway, Trump is not exonerated by Mueller, and we can all thank God that is true.
Anybody with an eighth-grade education should know that the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government are designed to envy each others’ power and fight over it. Therefore, the current toss-up among the branches speaks to me of political health, not disease. That diagnosis, however, does not extend to the personalities that are trying to wield the power of their offices beyond the range for which they were intended.
Terrorism is a symptom of a political/social/economic system that has failed and become toxic. It seems to me theirs is a poor path to follow. Abusive use of force is along that path. Prosperity and freedom are the other way.