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Becoming a Terrorist: Revenge, Allah and The Cure

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So I ask the question… “What does it take for a man to become a terrorist?” How does anyone go from a loving sane innocent child at birth to a man hellbent on riding the lightning to his death for a cause? How does one justify the violent death of innocence? How does a man bleed their human brother without regret? What does it take to convert the human mind from white to black? This is the question that we need to answer lest we will all fall into the darkness of death and decay. What is the cause of their anger? What drives the dark black blood in their veins. Why?… why…

Terrorism: Terrorism is destruction of people or property by people not acting on behalf of an established government for the purpose of redressing a real or imaginary injustice attributed to an established government and aimed directly or indirectly at an established government. The act of destruction is performed by a person or group of persons not acting on behalf of an established government and most importantly the act is aimed directly or indirectly at an established government.

I know what it would take for me to go over the edge and become a terrorist. I’m pretty sure I can give it to you straight, eye to eye, man to man. There is one thing I ask for in this world and it is a simple request. I want god to protect my babies and my family. I ask for nothing more, nothing less. I can’t imagine the pain of losing my flesh and blood or the love of my life. I’m not sure I would have a purpose, a heart, a mind after the realization that my weights to this world are gone.

In Iraq today we are taking the lives of sons, daughters, fathers, mothers and friends. For the most part it is not intentional. (I hope.) Casualties of war are inevitable due to the unavoidable evil that is war. Death is certain while waging war and it is assured. It is certain that innocence will be lost at the hand of our sword but we hope (we justify it) as a small loss in the light of the good that comes from war. We hope…

Justifying the actions of terrorists

So how do we justify what we are doing in Iraq? In our mind what we are doing is not terrorism by definition. We are an organized government acting against another government so our actions are justified in our minds as good. We are removing a military threat in Saddam Hussein and his governing body. Do the people of Iraq see it this way? I am not sure but I’m betting that a good portion of the population feels like they have been invaded and mentally raped of the world as they know and understand it. They see us as the attackers. They see their blood on our hands. So then they feel that they need to address this injustice in the form of terrorism as it is defined above. They are people not acting on behalf of an established government to address an injustice and that is justified and moral in their mind.

Quote: “An act of terrorism. in itself, is neither moral, nor immoral – no act in itself ever is. Morality of an act is determined by the intentions of its perpetrators and by the circumstances under which it takes place. ‘Killing’ is a morally neutral act, it is the intention of the killer and the circumstances under which the act takes place, that make it a crime of ‘murder’ subject to a heavy punishment, an ‘unfortunate accident’, or an ‘act of valour’ rewarded by a medal.”

Imagine though an invasion of your city. Wherever you live, whether it be a big city or small rural town. Imagine coming home from work on Wednesday night and your house, everything you own is in smoldering ruin. Your wife lay bleeding in the street and your children are in pieces inside… crushed to death and blown to pieces… you can’t even find their bloody parts. You only smell their burnt blood. Feel the pain. Feel the horror. Feel the anger. Would this make you able to take a life in revenge? Would you join others who have had the same pains inflicted on them? What if your revenge was justified by your god and his teachings? What if you were promised to be rewarded for your actions of revenge after your death with the promise of an eternal heavenly paradise?

Quote:”While established governments see terrorist activity as terrorism, terrorists themselves see it as war – war against an enemy, an oppressor, war for freedom, justice, etc.” This war is justified as the will of Allah’s cause.

Quote: “Personally, spiritually, politically, intellectually and emotionally, the questions that an Islamic fundamentalist faces are stark indeed. Personally, he asks himself if he loves Allah more than his own life? Spiritually, he asks whether or not he is willing to sacrifice himself in Allah’s Cause against Shaytan’s power and the infidel’s military forces? Politically, he divides the nations of the world into two warring camps. The nations under Islamic rule are termed, the Land of Peace (dar al-Islam) while the remaining nations are called, the Land of War (dar al-Harb). He asks himself if he should participate in bringing Allah’s rule over the infidels and hypocrites. Intellectually, the answers to those questions are crystal clear to him. Emotionally, his only hurdle to overcome is the fear of death. Once this emotional fear is conquered, the person joyfully takes up the sword to kill and be killed in Allah’s Cause, anticipating his entrance into the gates of heavenly Paradise.

Envision waking the next day with your town occupied by the people that committed this vile act just 24 hours earlier. You have a gun, no wife, no family and no home. All you have is a dark, black dead heart that pumps acid through your mind and there is no way out. Your skin burns with hatred for the people that brought this on – The infidel. The evil land of war and decadence. After all, you were happy. You had a job, you were educated, you had food, money, love and faith. Now you are empty and left with nothing but a gun, boiling rage for your occupier and your faith. A faith that has been pressed into your brain since birth. Your family, your world is a statistic on the evening news and your life is now completely you and your god against your enemy… and it is justified.

This is a glimpse into the mind of an Islamic or even an American terrorist if we were invaded. You and me and our neighbors. We would be taking shots from our office buildings and what remained of our homes to defend what is ours… our beloved homeland. (The land of peace) The hatred would boil and we would be willing to die to inflict the ultimate revenge on our aggressors in the hope that we could help return our lands to the way it should be. We would live for it. Long for it. We would die for it. Afterall, life after death is supposed to be perfect right?

Buddah said “It’s a man’s mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.” This may be so but that doesn’t stop the fact that it is human nature to seek revenge. The mind of the lost and crossed are weak and dark. The venom in their mind is rising. The hatred is focused and on target.

I understand that there are many reasons why people turn to radical behavior and terrorism. The example I mention above is only one possible cause that would drive a person over the edge. Some people believe strongly enough that they would easily rob another person of their life in the name of god and religion. Their belief is so strong that their actions are justified, the guilt of killing is easily justified by the overall mission and goal. People that kill abortion doctors and bomb clinics are a good example of American terrorism in our country. They feel that the loss of innocent life is small compared to the unborn lives that they are saving.

As terrorists make clear in their writings and statements, another goal is not just revenge but it is an attempt to manipulate the minds of whole citizenries or governments who survive the attacks, to break their wills and inflict fear, so that they will be inclined to let the terrorists have their way. In their mind you just might think twice before getting an abortion in fear that you might be shot for showing up at the clinic! You just might think twice before waging war on them again, etc.

Terrorism seeks to create what one might call a second-hand Stockholm Syndrome, with the goal of leading the larger population into an identification with the aggressor. The goal is to make citizens fall back on wishful thinking, and say, “Maybe if we appease the terrorists, listen to their demands, they will stop. Maybe they can be reasoned with. Maybe if we don’t fight back, they will leave us alone.”

Does terrorism work? Are we afraid? I continually ask myself what we should do about terrorism around the world. Should we give in or should we fight back harder?

Well, I know the answer is that we need to fight back harder but the question is how exactly to go about fighting. How do we stop terrorism?

How do we stop terrorism

What should we do? How do we learn to stop the death, agony and fear that drives revenge? Where do we start? When will we realize what we have done?

Quote: “The only practically workable way to eradicate terrorism is to remove its cause – the (justified or unjustified) feeling of injustice. If the feeling of injustice is justified then the only way to remove it is to redress that injustice by restitution or, if restitution is impossible, compensation. If the injustice consists in occupation of territory, then the feeling of injustice is removed by cessation of the occupation.”

So regarding our current war on terror, if you put yourself in the shoes of our current terrorist enemies, can you relate to their aggressions? Could you participate in terrorist activities if you were put in the same situation? What would make you stop your actions of death and destruction? Regarding the example I gave above, I may be inclined to curb my need for revenge if the people that destroyed my home and my family stopped their attack and occupation. Honestly though, I would probably STILL carry that with me and it is VERY possible that my hatred would grow. Where it would take me I am not sure and that is the question we need to address when waging war.

I agree that we need to fight the war abroad and at home. I am definitely not suggesting that we cut and run and build a wall around our country. I am not content to wait for the threat. The big difference is that I believe we need to root out these people one by one with intelligence, special ops forces and get to them where they live and operate. Combine this with understanding the terrorist mindset better and rebuilding our relationships around the world. This will continue to help the world as a whole fight the threat better and more efficiently.

Then we need to get out of Iraq except for ensuring their police training. Osama Bin Laden is a prophet now because he predicted we would invade Muslim lands. The situation in Iraq is an example of a bold, messy, resource intensive AND costly slap at terrorism that does nothing but encourage the underlying problems of terrorism and raise our debt. We need to fight this war around the world but it needs to be clean and aggressive. John Kerry has a great plan to put more money into our homeland security but to also double our special ops and intelligence budget for this exact task. Bush is for the cowboy way… Guns and Bombs! Yee-fucking-ha!! Overtaking, destroying and rebuilding entire countries in our image is not the answer, it is the cause.

I mentioned before these people are ghosts. They can go anywhere and do anything if they really want and they do have the will. They have done it before! They will cross our borders and live among us and the only way we can defeat them is (#1) deal with trying to reduce future terrorism and (#2) reducing current terrorists overseas while securing our country so they can’t infiltrate our communities. It can’t be a one sided battle overseas and it can’t continue on the current path we are on. It’s expensive, we have over 1/3 of our active duty troops trying to secure this mess AND while we are cleaning it up, our own borders remain open. 4000 people a day cross our borders and that is a threat. Dick Cheney said today that the biggest threat we have today is terrorists smuggling a nuclear bomb or biological weapon into our country. Whether you like to admit it or not the terrorists are already here and they are among us. We’ll be fighting them at home now whether we want to or not. We need to plan for the battle.

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About Yensid

  • I don’t think you’re seeing it quite right, although I respect the depth of your beliefs. If you’ll allow me, here’s another possible take:
    Not all Terrorists are necessarily formed by the conditions of injustice, per se, and in the case of Islamic Terrorism, perhaps especially so. It may be ‘simply’ an artifact of cultural collision.

    Putting yourself in their shoes, once again: You survey your society and note with disquiet that the influence of a rich & exciting, but degenerate, foreign culture is steadily subverting your own.
    You have been told, since birth, that your way of life is superior to all others. Yet, here are your children, your cousins, your females dressing and speaking in quite shocking ways. You turn on your TV, that you stuggled to give to your family, in the AM and nighttime American TV shows are on, flaunting characters that would be stoned in the streets of your villages- and you watch your daughter laugh, and you worry. Your son wants to be a rapper. You worry more.

    You know that your culture cannot hope to counter this foreign one. It is rich. It reached the moon- the very symbol of your belief- and left it’s mark there. Your society can’t even feed it’s own people. They can kill the whole world many times over, so you have heard. They’re coming to crush you. And they’ve done it before. You know all about the Indians- they took everything from them and rubbed their memory from the face of the earth.

    So what to do? Become purer than pure. Reject all that is alien and prevent- by the sword- anyone from embracing what belongs to the West. Hit the West in any way you can so that your own people will fear you and restore their former purity, which is the only thing that will return your society to what it once was.

    We’ve seen this happen before: The Ghost Dancers, the Boxer Rebellion- both were religion-based society-wide movements we would now call ‘terrorism’ in the face of an overwhelming foreign culture’s percieved encroachment. In both cases, the ‘terrorists’ embraced a concept of purity to restore society. Both movements embraced atrocity as a means to be heard, and both movements embraced mysticism as proof against technological enemies.

    Both movements failed. And you know what? It took “cowboys”, not spies or judges, to end them. This is not the WWIII scenario we all fear, but it is not merely a police issue, either.


    urthshu has a pretty good grasp of the situation.
    to a lesser extent than a terrorist, many Arabs I have spoken or worked with, especially those of the Arabian peninsula, the West offers a lot of great things: technology, medicine, commercial goods, physical stuff we would take for granted as routine, as well as bettter university education and offer better business opportunities, prosperity. The flip side of this is the Western lifestyle (delivered via TV to a great extent): divorce, promiscuity, lesser reliance on family, alcoholism, drug use, and surprising to some on this board, godlessness. These are the things that they do not wish to have in their society. Taken to extremes, this could lead to terrorism, but it is of course a bit more complex than I have presented.

  • Eric Olsen

    alternative perspectives are important and informative – we are talking about fellow humans, after all – but unless we are willing to utterly change our way of life, our economic system, our pursuit of knowledge, our separation of church (and not just any church) and site, ie, unless we are willing to become something we are utterly not and to reverse the arrow of human progress (I do not use this term lightly), then we are going to have to deal severely, absolutely, with those who will be placated by nothing less.

    It’s rather simple.

  • Thanks for your comments. Regarding the comments of urthshu I don’t disagree, but my rant above is targeted more on our current actions in Iraq. I agree that there are many reasons that we might be hated and most are reasons that we will never change and shouldn’t. But the decision to wage war is a decision we can change if the American people demand it. There are many solutions to the problem other than war and we need to investigate them. The current state in Iraq is a mess which only encourages terrorists streaming over the boarders to fight America. If and when we get this land under control the terrorists will only use the events in Iraq to recruit in other places around the world. You really think that sending a message to these people by amassing military force is going to stop them? I highly doubt it. They might think twice though once their buddies start getting sniper bullets through their heads while walking down a street or in a secret meeting. We need to use intelligence and special ops to root these people out. They already know that we could stomp the middle east into the ground if we really wanted to. Obviously that is not stopping them.



  • justvisiting

    i need more information im doing a speech and would need information on this topic of terrorism

  • howdydoody

    If we lose the war on terror and against the radical islamists, humanity will enter another dark age that we may never see the end of.

  • Abdullah Akbar

    Why are there terrorist think about it,if this world wasn’t so evil there wouldn’t be any terrorist.Will the super power fall everyone else fell they shall also,already been predicted its inevitable.

  • A good start would be if our so-called political “leaders” stopped lying.

    A second would be if people grew up and realized that there are no gods.