(…as a most virulent form of anarchy)

It’s a great mistake to continue labeling our defensive efforts against terrorism as a –War- against it. Just as mistaken as the labels we’ve pasted on other problems such as…War on Poverty…War on Drugs…War on Climate Change…War on Obesity…War on Gun Violence….and on ad infinitum.

To couch it (and all these others) in such a military context distorts our perspectives of the realities involved with it, warping us into a siege-like mentality which, in turn, erodes us away from being the free and open society we once were, to become one of paranoid outlook suspicious of anyone and anything. In short, in self-defense, we turn ourselves into a – 1984 Big Brother – society instead.

Terrorist acts are not acts of “war”. They are criminal acts by either individuals or groups of individuals driven by one kind of motivation or another. Yet, there seems to be a common thread to terrorism, no matter what the motivations driving it might be. That is, the genesis of terroristic mindsets is an evolutionary process. A process which seems to follow an almost predictable progression until it reaches something akin to –critical mass- at which point it “explodes” into indiscriminate mayhem and slaughter.  

The initiating factor in that process, seemingly, begins from some kind of extreme advocacy either for or against something using rhetoric that incites or promotes violent action among its adherents and supporters. But, as frustrations with lack of progress or results from such advocacy grow, these then become more inclined towards violent confrontations with the forces and symbols of society’s authority blocking them. Ultimately those confrontations cross an invisible line leading to indiscriminate targeting for mass mayhem and slaughter against society as a whole. At that point what began as –advocacy- has morphed into – terrorism – as a most virulent form of anarchy.

There is a catalogue of examples that illustrates that process, that goes as far back as most ancient times. In our modern era we’ve seen it with Ireland’s IRA and its hardcore splinter group –the PROVISIONALS-, with the Spanish Basque ETA, with the early confrontations of the Israeli IRGUN with the British, the Sri Lankan TAMIL TIGERS, the Kurdish PKK in Turkey. And here at home we’ve had the WEATHERMEN, PETA, the BLACK PANTHERS, not to mention a whole bunch of unaffiliated, lone-wolf type individuals; but, regardless of the cause or the motive, all of these have progressively morphed through that evolutionary process into…terrorism of one form or another.

 It’s time we understood the process of that transformation because by doing so we might then come up with much more effective means to either reduce or eliminate those factors which drive that evolutionary process which causes it…other than just responding with a capture or kill reaction to it.

Obviously, of course, we can’t completely eliminate using that approach, but we still need to find the best ways and means to either defuse or eliminate those causative factors of that process so we don’t need to do so. It won’t be easy because anarchic mindsets are so virulent, it’s almost impossible to turn them away from such criminal violence.

Even so…we have to try…or we risk ending up just like the terrorists themselves.