Thursday, July 7, 2005

Somebody Explain Terrorism Please

London: People trapped in tube (by Adam Stacey)Someone needs to explain the whole concept of terrorist bombings to me. From what I've seen, the logic of the terrorists is as follows.

  1. We don't like something (in this case, apparently the war in Iraq)

  2. We cause death and destruction/pain to you in your home country

  3. You are thereby disuaded from continuing to do what we don't like

Where the whole thing breaks down for me, is that I don't see step three as ever following from step two. All I see is people getting angry and redoubling their efforts to find you and bring you to justice. This may be just an American (maybe Western) thing, but I can't imagine terrorist acts actually dissuading people from continuing a course of action.

I honestly just don't get it. I've always figured the reason there weren't ongoing terrorist attacks in the US is that the terrorists realized that to do so would simply steel American resolve and speed their demise. I can't imagine that the UK has that different of a world view that when shoved, they just sit down and say "oh, okay, sorry about that there."

As Reynolds of Random Acts of Reality said, "London won't be beaten, we spent 20 years under the shadow of the IRA, and are used to terrorists." I mean, if Britons were able to shrug off and maintain a hard line on something like Ireland, in what way does Al Quaeda (if the claims made are true) expect British opinions to change. Is this just a cultural difference? Does this methodology work somewhere? Please, someone explain it to me.

Also: much more ongoing coverage over at BoingBoing, though I'm sure you'll have a hard time avoiding people talking about this for a while.

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