I’ve seen innumerable columns on both the left and right trying to either identify the Fort Hood shooter, Major Hasan, as a Muslim terrorist, or trying to deny that terrorism exists at all, but that if it did exist (purely for the sake of argument of course), such a perverted thing would certainly be our own fault.
The basic question in examining whether or not Major Hasan’s violence makes him a terrorist would be “What exactly is terrorism?” Many who read this will say that I’ve formulated a ridiculous question, since we all KNOW what terrorism is. Yep, we all do. All 300 million of us. And we have 300 million definitions.
Just for the purpose of clarity, let me quote the American Heritage Dictionary’s definition of terrorism:
[The] use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.
Well, Major Hasan certainly scores on the use of force or violence scale, in a big way.
He certainly intimidated enormous segments of American society.
One might confidently infer that he had ideological reasons for his behavior, based solely on the reported shouting of “Allah Akubar” before slaughtering our soldiers apparently with less concern than swatting a fly.
It appears that our Major Hasan is batting three for three as a defined terrorist, so let’s stop the silliness from the dinosaur media and those LPD (Liberal/Progressive/Democrat) governmental spokespeople.
To paraphrase the erudite Janeane Garofalo, this was an act of terrorism, straight up.
While many groups and some individuals have committed terrorist acts in the past, and will doubtless do so again in the future, it appears that the use of terror tactics against Americans and other non-Muslim nations (as well as quite a few nominally Muslim countries) will continue.
The question should not be whether this was or was not an act of terrorism, but should be how we, as a secular nation-state, appropriately respond to attacks that are almost certainly sponsored or funded by a nation-state but which are carried out by people bound by a shared cultural identity.
And that is the problem we face in dealing with the threat posed by Islamic fundamentalism. By its very nature, it is not the result of an individual nation’s actions, but pan-national. It is not a religion, but a virulent sub-segment of a religion. It is not a single race, but is multi-racial. It is, however, representative of a unified culture. A culture that is the antithesis of America’s.
And I’m not speaking of the American culture that the elites and LPDs snicker at or treat as non-existent. American culture exists without opera, without epic poetry, without ballet, without classical music. Things like that exist within a culture, but they do not create a culture. A nation’s culture is the embodiment of shared values and beliefs. Shared ideas of what is right, and what is wrong. A culture is shared civic and private behaviors that are accepted without question, such as freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, the right to a fair trial. It is a shared faith in the strengths of its people and shared pride in their accomplishments. That, in my opinion, is what makes a culture.
Our American culture embodies a great number of core attributes that the Islamic fundamentalist finds repulsive. We celebrate diversity. Diversity in thought, in religion, in politics, in movement, in every choice we make on a daily basis from what newspaper we choose to read or television program that we choose to watch, to whom we will marry.
They, on the other hand, are the ultimate statists, with the ultimate state being a theocracy. They find any freedom utterly hostile to their total control of the populace. So America, with its culture of freedom is anathema to Islamic fundamentalists. And, I am sad to say, with LPDs. Both groups feel that any freedom at all is in direct conflict with the coming of a new golden age. Of course one group is basing their view on a religious faith that suppresses reason, and refuses to accept that normal human behavior might impact their plans.
No, thinking about it for a second, I realize that BOTH Islamic fundamentalists and LPDs think exactly the same way for exactly the same reasons. The only difference is one group recognizes that they have a religion, and the other refuses to admit that it is working with a different act of faith.
The question still remains as to how to deal with these Islamic fundamentalists who threaten us every day and who have sown the seeds of terror within the fabric of our society. We cannot identify them physically – they look just like us. They can hide in plain sight. And declaring war on nation-states will not work, since it is cultural not national identities that predominate in the terrorist networks of the world.
I submit that the best way of rooting these fanatics out is to encourage members of the larger, surrounding culture to identify and either prosecute these terrorists themselves, or to turn them over to us for prosecution. We can encourage them through economic starvation.
The single thing that all nation-states that sponsor terrorists have in common is their nearly universal use of oil as the medium for the garnering of the wealth needed to fund these groups. Oil is their weapon of choice. But it is, without question, being used as a weapon.
Well, we have the same weapon at our disposal. We have proven reserves of hydrocarbon-based energy that would allow us to not only supply all our internal needs for the foreseeable future, but supply those allies who will work with us to isolate those countries that support terrorism. Isolate them economically. And all that would take would be the announcement of a change in our policy of masochistic environmentalism and that we will start to drill for our own oil. Shortly after that, the price of oil should drop precipitously. That drop, regardless of what OPEC tries to do to the supply, will drastically reduce the revenues of rogue oil exporting nations and their ability to fund terrorists. With just a little additional pressure, like refusal to sell technology to these nations, there will be dangerous levels of internal unrest, and those nations will no longer be able to pretend that they are just innocent bystanders and observers of the jihad.
So the answer seems to be, convince the heads of those nations supporting terrorism to either give up the terrorists, and stop funding and hiding them, or your government, perhaps your way of life, will collapse. And it will be our turn to be just innocent bystanders and observers.