Thursday, August 10, 2006

Islam and Terror

Islam does not mean terror.

Some of the most sustained areas of general human welfare in history have come under Muslim government. Some of the most sublime art has been created. And some of the greatest literature written.

But, it is equally clear that we have a problem.

The War on Terror is not going to work. A war needs, at the very least, some way of saying that it has been won or lost. As long as we are terrorized, then we have lost.

I have some postulates.

1. You cannot change "hearts and minds" in less than a generation.

2. Equally, after a generation of normality (normalcy to US readers) any conflict can potentially be historicized.

3. We need to create a basis for normal human interchange, even if imperfect, that lasts a generation. There is no quick end. We need to deal with patchwork solutions and inconclusive meetings that stretch on and on until everyone is bored silly.

4. Future technology cannot be predicted, but the future effects of current technology can. Our "Western" technology (cellphones, computers, the Internet, GPS, Television) has an inherent tendency to individuate persons and break ties of clan, religion, and family in favor of desires for self-realization. The more it is diffused, the more "individual" people will become. This has many bad effects, but it has a major benefit in undermining totalitarian systems.

5. When you destroy all the leaders of an organization, the second and third generation successors are less able than the originators.

So what do we do? We let Israel destroy HAMAS and Hezbollah. We weaken by all means possible the leadership in Iran. We search out all active Al-Qaeda cells.

But then we try to create a generation of boring meetings, while letting technological civilization propagate. Israel must stop treating Arabs like garbage. India must allow a majority vote in Kashmir. Somalia must be prevented from becoming an Islamic state. That's a start.

In other words, what is needed is a radical policy of prevarication (or at least procrastination) in order that the population-base of the Islamofascists is corrupted by material desire and individuation.

In countries where you have a social group of teenagers and not radicalized youths, terrorism will not prosper.

1 comment:

Clemens said...

Perfectly sane. Therefore I fear such a program will have trouble surviving in the perfervid world of American politics.