THE HOLY BOOK OF UNIVERSAL TRUTHS,
K. U. P.
(Kimball's Unauthorized Perversion)
In a conventional war, those would be clear signs that the enemy is losing. Our government and our allies have more resources than the terrorists. We have superior technology; most of the weapons used by terrorists are not made in the countries they come from. Itís a safe bet weíre smarter; how many Americans think they will go to Paradise if they blow themselves up? We even have a better sense of humor, as Martin Bodek pointed out in this 2002 column.
Even worse, the governments of the West have played into their hands. Every good story with a conflict also needs a villain; otherwise you get a boring round of philosophical questions about what motivates the other side, or we try to investigate cultural and political trends that can't really be measured. Sometimes you can make a story more interesting by telling it in an unconventional way (e.g., the science fiction novel Soldier, Ask Not, by Gordon R. Dickson, won a Hugo Award because it was told from the villain's point of view). Unfortunately, that works in better in literature than it does in real life; most of the time our leaders just paint everything in black and white, describing the heroes as all good and the villains as all bad. Thus, we see terrorist leaders cast as evil geniuses (think of Emperor Palpatine from "Star Wars," Sauron, Lex Luthor or Doctor Doom), and their followers as loyal henchmen. By making our enemies larger-than-life, we (and the government) tend to over-react to terror attacks, even when they fail. Consequently we go through extensive security checks in airports, because of bumblers like the "underwear bomber." If you're cynically minded, you could point out that the makers of safety equipment use our fears to generate more sales, and that many politicans use terrorism as an excuse to pass laws which restrict our freedoms even more.
1. Their leaders may be scary, but most are so stupid and incompetent, that they fail more often than they succeed. In Afghanistan, for example, one out of every two suicide bombers only kills himself. There have even been incidents where the suicide bombers engaged in a "group hug" before going on a mission, and they embraced each other hard enough to set off the explosives! In 2014 a suicide bombing trainer in Baghdad accidentally blew up himself and his class. I wonder if he told his students, just before it happened: "Watch carefully. I'm only doing this once." And then there is the Taliban commander who saw his picture on an American "wanted" poster, and turned himself in to claim the reward! Considering how incompetent government agencies can be (e.g., the TSA), it is encouraging whenever the terrorists do something idiotic, to make the job of the authorities easier.
In 2009 the humor site Cracked.com posted a list of five terrorist plots which failed, in ways so unbelievably bad that even you could have done better. Read them and laugh. And if you want more, read Daniel Pipes' list of stupid terrorists.
2. They arenít really holy warriors, but hypocrites and perverts. After Osama went into hiding, he used videos to make you think he was a brave warrior holding out in a cave, when he was really living in a luxurious three-story compound in Pakistan, with three of his wives. What's more, the compound contained marijuana plants and pornography; if Osama wasnít using them, somebody close to him was.
It has been said that a fish rots from the head down, and Osama's followers follow his example as well as they can. Random autopsies of the enemy dead in Afghanistan have revealed that a lot of them were opium users. And the typical terrorist is apparently sex-starved, judging from their actions during off-duty hours. Videos have been shot in Afghanistan of Taliban members having sex with cows and donkeys. Among the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, the most requested books are the erotic novels in the Fifty Shades of Grey series. The 9/11 hijackers did not spend their last night studying the Koran, or rehearsing their mission; instead they celebrated in the strip clubs of south Florida. In February 2012 we got another example; the Iranian terrorists who tried attacking Israeli diplomats in Thailand also patronized that country's notorious sex workers.
Meanwhile in the Middle East, members of ISIS routinely throw homosexual men off the tops of buildings, while they collect women as sex slaves, and their leader condones sex with boys.
Incidentally, Pakistan's name means "Land of the Pure," but it leads the world every year in pornographic searches per person. Search engines like Google report that Pakistan produces the most searches using terms like "horse sex," "donkey sex," "rape pictures" and "child sex." Other Moslem countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE are not far behind.
Even when doing something non-violent to help the cause, terrorists have trouble getting it right. In 2005 an Al Qaeda agent, Abu al Tayyeb, sent $35 million to an associate, Mohammad Qasim al Ghamdi, to use for fundraising in the United States. Ghamdi invested $26.7 million of it in an account with R. J. O'Brien & Associates, a brokerage house. Then when choosing which stocks, bonds, etc. to buy with the money, he made so many bad decisions that eight months later he was left with only $6.6 million.
A more recent example: You've probably heard stories about somebody getting in trouble because he wrote a steamy e-mail to a co-worker he liked, or he wrote an e-mail that called his boss a bunch of nasty names, and he accidentally sent it to everybody in his address book. Well, terrorists can do the same thing. In 2012 Qari Yousuf Ahmedi, a spokesman for the Taliban, received a routine press release from Zabihullah Mujahid, another Taliban spokesman, and he forwarded the message to the outside world media. Typically these press releases have the Taliban claiming responsibility for some bombing or shooting in Afghanistan. But this time Ahmedi copied the list of recipients to the CC line of the e-mail, instead of to the BCC line. Because of that little mistake, everyone who got the e-mail also got the Taliban's entire mailing list. Among the more than 400 names on the list, most were journalists, but there was also a provincial governor, a member of Afghanistan's legislature, several academics and activists, a committee of Afghan consultants, and a representative of Gulbuddein Hekmatar, a notorious warlord. The lives of everyone on that list just got more precarious, now that the world knows their e-mail addresses and their connection to the Taliban. Maybe the terrorists should have stuck to forms of communication they are more familiar with, like carrier pigeons!
4. When they succeed, their attacks backfire on them. Osama's biggest mistake was thinking he could kick over the American beehive, and the bees would not try to sting him. That may be true with Canada and the European nations; these days they don't feel any use of force is justified if they go it alone. However, the United States has a tradition of responding to surprise attacks by hitting the attacker three ways: hard, fast, and continuously. The two best examples of this are well known: the US response to the incidents involving the USS Maine and Pearl Harbor. Moreover, both of those incidents happened when the United States was less prepared for war than it was in 2001, but that did not stop the Americans from winning. It also appears that Osama didn't pay much attention to movies about attacks on the United States, like "Red Dawn" and "Independence Day." In those stories a common theme is that the Americans fight back, even when the odds against them are hopeless.
All that changed on September 11, 2001. Since then the terrorists have lost two countries that were friendly to them. And a lot them--bin Laden included--would probably be alive today if 9/11 hadn't taken place. It's a scandal that the Western media has carefully kept track of how many American and other coalition soldiers were killed, but does not try to find out how many terrorists were killed in return. The best estimate I have heard proposed that there are five to eight dead enemy combatants for every dead American. So if you support or sympathize with the other side, how do you like the score so far? There are more than 300 million U.S. citizens; at this rate, if you want to kill them all, you will have to sacrifice every Moslem man, woman and child to do it.
Art of lawfare: the woman who fights terror
Crippling Terrorism in the Courts
There is a fellow who calls himself Wild Bill for America, who posts his opinions on YouTube every week. Now he seems to have hit the nail on the head, about what Americans will really fight for. My favorite line is this one on why Americans should drink: "We donít have the option of putting unattractive women in burkas, and if it wasnít for alcohol, liberal women might never have children!" (Look at the last picture on this page to see what he means by that.).
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