Defeating Terrorism – Part 1

This is the first part of a series that will (hopefully) explore what needs to be done in order to defeat terrorism.


The first item on the list that needs to be done is establish Unity. No, this is not holding hands, chanting “Oooooommmmmm” and being one with the universe. Rather, this is having a common national direction from the citizens of the United States and the elected representatives to our Government.

I look back to the days immediately following 9/11, where both political parties and the population were united in our desire to find, punish, & destroy the terrorist organization that inflicted such damage & casualties upon this country. I wondered at that time how long that desire, that single-mindedness was going to last. I didn’t have to wait for long for the political opportunists to start their misinformation and spin campaigns.

What happened? Where did the desire, the “fire in the belly” go to? I have a few thoughts on this.

In one nutshell, the Democrat Liberals want power. They are desperate to show that the current Administration is inept, and cannot bring this war to a quick and successful conclusion. Of course, the Conservative Republicans want to hold on to the power that they have, and fight back with counter-claims that the opposition doesn’t have a plan, as no idea what is at stake, and is out of touch with the wishes of the common man. It does not matter what facts have been presented or proven to show that (in my opinion) the current course of action is correct, the political war continues within our government. Political infighting is costly in more than one way.

In another nutshell, the average citizen has the attention span of a gnat. Our entertainment media has conditioned us to believe that crimes can be solved in an hour, Dr. Phil can mend a relationship in ten minutes, and a new American Idol can be selected in a matter of weeks. Mention that a war against terror will last years, and there is absolutely no comprehension. “Why can’t we (the US) get this done & over with?” is the most common question I hear from various people.

Another nutshell is media related. Remember the videos of the first Iraq war? How many of us were facinated by bombs dropping on a certain building or bridge? How neat & clean was that? War in recent times has been shown to be relatively bloodless and extremely high-tech. I will be one of the first people to tell you that wars are far from bloodless, and technology has just made the battlefield all that much more deadly. Again, the general public has no idea that war involves bloody death until those pictures are shown on the nightly news (or every half-hour on CNN’s Headline News).

The end result of the above examples is that our attention is diverted from the goal of eliminating terrorist threats to the United States and to the world. The more attention that is given to the political arguments & sniping and to the defense of those arguments is less attention given to defeating terrorist activities. For the average citizen to not understand that this war against terrorism is real and not a TV show subtracts from the long-term will to get the job done.

The problem is that this country is not fighting against another country as in World War II, but against a shadowy, unknown adversary who does not have a country. Rather, it is an ideology that most people have either no understanding of or faulty information about. It is incomprehensible for most people to understand that there are a bunch of radical people out there that want to destroy their way of life and them even after 9/11.

Bottom line: The politicians and the citizens of this country need to understand that this enemy will not go away by themselves. We must be committed from the highest government positions to the most humble citizen to defending this country from the threat of terrorism. And that is the first step in defeating terrorism.

About Tom Roland

EE for 35 Years, Two Patents - now a certified PMP. Married twice, burned once. One son with Asperger's Syndrome. Two cats. Conservative leaning to the Right. NRA Life Member.
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2 Responses to Defeating Terrorism – Part 1

  1. Tom says:

    You think we are not unified because:
    1. Liberals want power
    2. US citizens have the attention span of a gnat
    3. The media shows war as bloody


    Can you understand that others have a difference of opinion. That we are not unified because:
    1. Bush involved us in a legally and morally questionable invasion,
    2. Those of us patriotic Americans who think this way (somewhere a little more than half) are opposed to this sort of behavior
    3. The US is not as well-informed or attentive as we ought to be but we aren’t stupid either, and,
    4. Wars are bloody, which is why we are rightly concerned when we may have been led in to an illegal war and that we appreciate the media doing its job and showing us all sides of what’s happening.

    I’ve said this over and over, but I’ll repeat it again: Surely you understand that IF we think this war may be illegal THEN we must stand in opposition to it? What else could we do if we thought it might be illegal? Support it nonetheless? What sort of monsters support their country when it may be committing war crimes?!
    Dan Trabue | Homepage | 08.06.06 – 11:21 pm | #

    As to your conclusion:

    “We must be committed from the highest government positions to the most humble citizen to defending this country from the threat of terrorism.”

    We ARE committed to standing against terrorism and we think that Bush’s way is exactly the wrong way to do it. That he’s increasing terrorism, not decreasing it.

    There’s not two sides here, one opposed to terrorism and one in support of it. EVERYONE is opposed to terrorism, it’s the question of how we fight it that’s being fought.
    Dan Trabue | Homepage | 08.06.06 – 11:24 pm | #

    Right now I am not sure how I feel….I do know that the terrorists aren’t going to go away, but I am not sure that anyone knows how to stop them.
    Teresa | Homepage | 08.07.06 – 11:59 am | #

    You think we are not unified because:
    1. Liberals want power
    2. US citizens have the attention span of a gnat
    3. The media shows war as bloody

    Dan, you are either misquoting or misunderstanding what was written – let’s be clear about something.

    1. I point out the political infighting going on between the parties as being destructive to the common cause of fighting terrorism. If you remember, ALL of Congress voted to go to war. Congress can disagree in a way that is not divisive and destructive, but constructive instead. Other than getting out of Iraq & second guessing the current course of action, I haven’t heard of any other battle plan.

    2. People want the fight against terrorism over with now, and do not seem to understand that this is a long-term fight. We have been conditioned for the quick fix.

    3. It’s not that the media shows that war is bloody, it’s that the common citizen has become immune as to the consequences of a long-term war. We have been anethesized by watching TV without a base in reality – at least until it hits close to home.

    As to the charge that Bush is increasing terrorism rather than decreasing it, we’ll have to let history decide that issue.

    Again, Congress voted to support the President’s course of action, so how could it be illegal? If so, then most of Congress is to blame right along with the President (and if they try to impeach Bush, they should impeach themselves right along with him). And by the way, who’s going to determine that the war is illegal? The Supreme Court? Those folks in the black robes who ruled that suspected terrorists are prisoners of war? Those idiots at the Useless Nations? Bah!!

    Sorry, terrorists are criminals, period. If you think differently, ask one of the families that lost someone on 9/11 – they will tell you that terrorists are criminals that must be brought to justice if not destroyed.

    But we are losing focus as to the thrust of the post – we need to be of one mind in fighting this war against terrorism. And in discussing that, let’s focus on where this course of action should go rather than laying blame on any philosophy or political party.

    Teresa, stay tuned & keep the faith.
    Tom | Homepage | 08.07.06 – 6:31 pm | #

    “Again, Congress voted to support the President’s course of action, so how could it be illegal?”

    If Congress and the Supreme Court and the President of the US and each citizen of the US said that we could bomb civilians, it would STILL be illegal because our laws say it is illegal.

    Or at least that is how a good number of patriotic US citizens see it. And IF we think it is illegal or even MAY be illegal, THEN we must stand against it. That is my point and will continue to be my point.

    The fact that you and ten buddies and Bush don’t think it’s illegal doesn’t change the fact that a good number of US citizens have looked at the facts and deemed it either illegal or questionably legal. Therefore, we must oppose it.

    How do you suggest we “disagree in a way that is not divisive and destructive”? We want the invasion ended. We want investigations begun. We want anyone convicted of crimes locked up. That is how we MUST act if we think the facts suggest this war is illegal.

    What else would you have us do?
    Dan Trabue | Homepage | 08.07.06 – 8:36 pm | #

    Dan – If you recall your history, Congress declared war on the Axis powers, and civilians were killed as a result by the Allied forces. There is precedence for your example.

    There are a good number of people that think that the war is legal because Congress authorized it. If there are in fact illegal activities, then those should be investgated legally, by appropriate legal authorities, not by politicians trying to make points nor by the main stream media trying to make news. Then, and only then, after the investigations are complete, should anyone be prosecuted.

    I’ve written the following in an earlier post – Bottom line is that the United States finishes the job and leaves Iraq when the Iraqi people are capable of supporting themselves and their government can control their own country. Any other action negates the sacrifice of our soldiers, and does nothing to secure the freedom of a formally oppressed people. We cannot leave Iraq at this time – we must leave a stable government able to defend itself, otherwise we’ll have another Lebanon or Iran.

    Dan, I’ve been extremely patient with this line of conversation. If you would like to continue this subject on your blog, go for it. But let’s keep the comments limited to the current post, shall we? Thank you.
    Tom | Homepage | 08.08.06 – 6:35 pm | #

    As in most discussions, the theme of “Illegal” comes up – but then the discussions go off topic, and it’s downhill from there – if one is to survive – one must have a plan.

    The major discussions that I see never solve anything – because solutions rarely come from those who have only “talking points” – because solutions are not in their thinking patterns – only how to bring back “die gutten alten tages.” Those days went away back in the 1960’s and shall never return.

    Keep up the good work Tom.
    Civil Discussions | Homepage | 08.08.06 – 8:44 pm | #

    Sorry, Tom, I didn’t think I’d gone off topic. You were questioning why we were not united. I responded by saying that we can’t be united when the great divide between our nation is something as deep as whether or not we’re committing war crimes.
    Dan Trabue | Homepage | 08.08.06 – 9:54 pm | #

    Dan, it’s easy to do on this subject considering that this country is divided on how best to combat terrorism. Iraq inevitably is brought up because it has been so politicized.

    Joe – Thank you!
    Tom | Homepage | 08.09.06 – 3:04 am | #

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