Thebastidge: State Sponsorship of Terrorism
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    ********************Southwest Washington Surplus, your prepping supply store********************

    Wednesday, October 20, 2004

    State Sponsorship of Terrorism

    I wrote before:
    There's an argument out there that the Bush administration's focus on state-supported terrorism is a mistake. That terrorist organizations don't need the support of nations to be a threat, because they are amorphous, diffusely organized, and fueled by other than patriotic ideology.

    I recognize that as a valid argument, but I disagree. Here's why:

    The rule of law and respect for social/civic standards is a 'critical mass' type function. Just like children who aren't given a leavening of civilized behaviour in their environment will do a "Lord of the Flies".

    In war, the aphorism that 'armies march on their bellies' is still valid. Logistics is more important than ever. As a terrorist, you can't just pillage your way to the target any more. You have to fit in, which means money, a certain amount of training...

    The idea that terrorists' effectiveness is dependant upon safe bases, willing sponsors in the arms market, and money funneled from governments (and, to be honest from front organizations that can only exist with the approval of the country they're operating in. We even have this problem here, but as racketeering laws are applied, we're starting to get a handle on them) is a very valid one.

    Once we take away or coerce other governments into denying state sponsorship of these essentially criminal organizations, then terrorism can be reduced to a law enforcement problem. Until then, it's primarily, or at least in large part, a military issue.

    I've been writing about Barnett's "The Pentagon's New Map" quite a bit lately. His 'new rules set' idea is very relevant to this discussion.

    There's an adjustment to our thinking that needs to be done. The biggest adjustment for leftists in this country, is that we no longer apologize for American culture. If a 20-year-old person in Riyadh wants to eat at Mc Donalds, well, they're an adult and have the choice to make. I WILL NOT apologize for the fact that American culture, American fast food, American fashion and American movies are more successful than native grown varieties. If you have to legislate your competition with American products, then it is clear that yours are inferior. If we have to legislate against your products, then ours are inferior- and trust me, Americans are smart enough to buy what they want, no matter who tells them to 'Buy American'.

    The biggest adjustments for people in other countries, is that the 'big dumb dog' that is America, 'bumbling along in good natured, obnoxiously friendly behaviour' has been teased to the point of snapping back. We're not unaware of how you view us anymore. Frankly, we're a little offended, but mostly, just deteremined not to be changed from our fundamentally freedom-loving nature.

    And honestly, the opinions of third world nations full of ignorant people and fascist dictators really shouldn't bother us much.

    Most of these people are not working with the same moral compass we are. You're talking about people only find an action morally reprehensible when it hurts them or their in-group, but it's perfectly fine to kill and steal from infidels or lesser races or outsiders. Our very tolerance and openness and ideas of what are right and wrong offend many of these people- we cannot be moral in their eyes and our own at the same time, and I'll take my own conscience over popularity any day.

    The 3rd world will continue to cry out for revenge until they are educated on what justice is. Promoting that adjustment to world thinking, spreading that new meme, is important.
    Sometimes we'll be spreading that meme by proving (militarily) that 'resistance is futile'. Sometimes we'll bribe people to accept it. Sometimes we'll have spontaneous conversions, and sometimes we'll have to kill people who don't play by the new rules.

    State Dept
    SE Asia Analysis Group


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