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Yay, rise ye historians and ceaselessly force the debate to go on and on so that much which the past teaches us will not be missed by this nation as it lurches and sputters between rage and fear. Many of us had come to respect terror when our mission had been to "pacify" it, seeking to provide the helpless some sense of security. Of course we failled-- miserably-- but that does not mean that we should disregard all the golden *negative* lessons learned at the cost of much blood. What is terror? To answer in this case requires first and foremost that we come to terms with towards whom is the object lesson of terror directed. It is not directed at us Americans; just as it is not now directed at the Israelis in the Middle East or was directed at us in Vietnam. Terror is a means of polarizing, incriminationg and coopting the peacable weak among an underdeveloped population that seeks to survive sleething between the factions contending for domination of it. So why are we targeted by the acts of terror? Because the terrorists want those helpless passive masses to conclude that there can be no life for them for even one minute on our side of the fence. For them to do business with us, in other words, is to do business with the devil, to invite death. Does that mean that we should protect and encourage the passive masses to brave the terrorists in order to appreciate the benifits of dealing with us? Well, we tried that in Vietnam and in the end we just dropped everything and left. Also, the Israelis tried that with the Palestinians, and, since they could not leave, came to see the Palestinian masses as passive cover for, if not active collaborators with terrorism. The problem is that the masses do become active supporters or passive cover because they know that the terrorists are everywhere and can act anywhere. Choice, as in choosing sides is just not an option for the unarmed helpless meek trying to eke a living. Bottom line is that throughout history there has never been a third alternative. Should anyone choose to cite the Southeast Asian countries where terror was overcome, I would point out that a distinguishing characteristic in those cases was the racial and national distinction of the minoritarian terrorist movement, so that the "sea" in which swam the terrorist "fish" was so small and easily identifiable, that it was like shooting fish in a barrel. Well, in the US we have some eight million Moslems. Probably 7,800,000 of them are with us-- like most Arabs and Moslems, they want to get in on the technological wonders of our new global modernity; they, therefore, despise the terrorists as much as we do. But that's besides the point, since in the case of all those the terrorist wish to use there are points d'apuits which when pressed cannot be resisted and the individual becomes involuntarily incriminated into passive or active service. To whom can turn one willing to resist? By hidden means, I had for a decade watched this polarization and incrimination at work. I marvelled at what Lenin had perfected and systematized and to its collapse the Soviet Union taught to millions. I lament that to this day we found no antidote. It is not a matter of morality or higher purpose, for the Mafia among Italian-Americans or the Tongs amongst Chinese-Americans all incriminated people into nefarious criminal undergrounds by exploiting their ethnic commonality in a foreign land in much the same way. Most important to our American culture and economy-- what gives them their distinct identity-- is that we embrace and exploit diversity. If we were to begin to suspect people because of the way they dress, speak, pray or look, our society would suffer more than from any damage done by terrorists. When we attack freedom of diversity we lose all rationale to salvage even an inch of our way of life as we desperately seek to feel secure. Ther's no magic in the initials: CIA, FBI, NYPD, etc. For their every success, these agencies have let slip through their fingers thousands. Since we cannot control the terrorist "cells" amongst us, we must change focus to the head that runs them from far away. Throughout the history of fighting terrorism only this approach has saved the liberty of democracies under attack. More importantly, we must bring fear and dread to the states that make the terrorism heads and cells viable. While the cells are ready to die amongst us, taking as many of our citizens with them as they can, these states are not ready to accept pulverization. They will readily crush the heads to save themselves. This we should keep in mind as we seek grand coalitions with them at any cost. Our reach must, therefore, be long and our fist must be hard so that states that make the Bin Ladens of the world viable will believe us when we threaten them with extermination. They must know that we CAN and we WILL inflict far greater than is inflicted on us. The toppling of the Twin Towers was not some one time thing which we must rise above, returning to our Monday Sept. 10th "normality." The World Trade Center was just the beginning; a far more ingenious and sophisticated arsenal awaits us; it is at the terrorists' disposal and WILL SOON be used. Whatever we do to Bin Laden is immaterial. He has served his role as catalyst and now thousands of young Moslems are lining up to emulate him as "martyrs for Allah." Many of these young men's fathers do not discourage them. On the contrary, the fathers take great pride in their sons becoming "martyrs for Allah." Our only hope is to make this honor more costly to the fathers than it is worth to them. The human weapons are put together into cells by "clerical facilitators" who have succeeded in coalescing heterogenous Moslem sects from many countries. The goal of these clerics is to reverse history to some Moslem Medieval times on a stream of blood, Moslem and non-Moslem. They attack, therefore, the USA, the "great Satan," because it has brought the irresistible corruptive high-tech modernity to the Moslem world and has thus debased Moslem youth with education. Before their bloody hand struck at the USA, it had visited each of the Arab countries of the Middle East, cutting the throats of helpless women and children in Algeria, setting people on fire in Pakistan, killing peacemaking heads of state, like Sadat of Egypt, etc. But our press did not take note of the spreading cancer because it did not seem directed at us. Now we know that no "infidels" are exempt. There is no compromise we can inflict of Israel, for terrorism has gone from the secular political Intifada to the religious Jihad. Academics can try and hide behind Politically-Correct platitudes, tenured and sequestered on their campuses. But the case of Rushdie shows that any academic work can be deemed a sacrilege by the Mullahs and one is as much a target as the little non-PhD people who faced the "martyrs of Allah" in the streets. Perhaps then the time has come for the academics to stand with the people who provide their world in the clouds for them by becoming "relevant," doing analyses that can help us understand what we are up against and what we can do. That cannot come from snap judgements attacking the hand that feeds them while calling for "understanding" of the mass murdering suicide "hashashins." Daniel E. Teodoru --------------------------------- Do You Yahoo!? Get email alerts & NEW webcam video instant messaging with Yahoo! Messenger.