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Domestic Terrorism - AbeBooks
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Learn More. Play Sample. Give as a Gift Send this book as a Gift! Book Rating. Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks Date: January You have committed a war crime and you will be judged guilty and executed, and properly so. Not even the most just cause can justify terrorism.
It is always illegitimate, always criminal. Allow me to add one other observation—I think an important one—on this point.
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It is not merely that the goals of terrorists do not justify their means. In addition, the means that terrorists use tell us something about their real goals. We can see this very simply by looking at what happens when terrorists come to power. They establish dictatorships that trample human rights.
So again, terrorism is always criminal, whether practiced by Israel, America, or the Palestinian Authority. The deliberate and systematic assault on innocents is evil. Nor do ratios count. In Afghanistan, when the final tally is over, America will probably have killed a lot more Afghans than the number of Americans slaughtered in New York and Washington. I think the United States is not and will not be cowed by arguments that try to delegitimize its war against terrorism—arguments that equate terrorism with the unintentional killing of civilians.
This brings us to the second principle—strategic clarity. Of course it is necessary and right to go after them. But they are not really the most important target. You go after the haystack. To use a different analogy, if you have kamikaze pilots coming at you, you can shoot down a kamikaze pilot here and there. You can even go after their squadron leader. But you will still have kamikazes coming in. The only way that you can stop the attacks from continuing is to go after the aircraft carrier that is their base. Likewise, if you want to stop terrorism, you have got to go after the regimes that stand behind the terrorists.
You have to understand that the terrorists are not floating up in space. They have to take off from a certain place and go back to it. They have to have a location to hatch their grisly plots, and to equip and train themselves. That haven is always the territory of a sovereign state.
If you take away the support of that sovereign state, the whole scaffolding of international terrorism will collapse into the dust. It went after the Taliban and Al Qaeda began to crumble.follow
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There are remnants in Afghanistan. There is perhaps even a residual terrorist capacity. But when the roots are cut off, the grapes left on the vine wither and die. And this is fairly easy to do, because the whole terror network consists of a half-dozen states with about two dozen terrorist organizations affiliated with them—sometimes working directly for them. If you take care of those states, the rest is easy. And there are only two things you can do with terror-sponsoring states: deter them or dismantle them.
That means giving them a choice. There is no third choice. I think the United States is well on its way to handling two other terrorist regimes. One is practicing terrorism this very moment, inciting radicalism and terror and militancy from the Philippines to Los Angeles. But the first target will be Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Both of these regimes, if unattended, will succeed—fairly rapidly—in the programs they have launched to develop atomic weapons. And once they possess atomic weapons, these two foundations of the terror network could threaten the world and our civilization with a terror that we cannot even imagine today.
President Bush is absolutely right in boldly naming these two countries and going after them—or in the case of Iran, perhaps, waiting for the implosion of its regime after the collapse of Saddam Hussein.
So in addition to the moral clarity to identify all terrorism as illegitimate, the United States is demonstrating strategic clarity in moving to root out the terror-supporting regimes. Which brings me to the third principle: the imperative for victory. I mean that the United States understands that the only way to defeat terrorism is actually to defeat it. There is a very powerful view today, after all—held even by some former Presidents—that says the root cause of terrorism is the deprivation of national rights or civil rights.
Anyone who knows modern history, however, can enumerate several hundred battles, struggles, conflicts, and wars that were aimed at the achievement of national liberation, independence, or equal and civil rights, and that did not employ terror. Indeed, one has to look very hard to find the use of terrorism in these conflicts. For example, if we ask what is the worst occupation in history—the very worst—I think most of us would agree that it was the Nazi occupation of Europe. They had plenty of opportunities, but they never once targeted the wives and children of French collaborators, or even the wives or children of German officers stationed in France.
They were democrats. Or take an example closer to home: the struggle of blacks for civil equality in the United States during the s and early s.
That struggle never employed terror either, because it also proceeded from a democratic mind-set. The only way to persuade people to obliterate buses full of children, or buildings, or cities—the only way to persuade people to abandon the moral constraints that govern human action, even in war—is to inculcate in their minds the idea that there is a cause higher or more important than morality.
That cause could be racial.