69 million page views

Lets stop dignifying gaggles of rowdies as "terrorists".

Reader comment on item: [London Terrorism:] British "Covenant of Security" with Islamists Ends

Submitted by Tom Martin (United States), Jul 9, 2005 at 12:51

The recent bombings in London fell in line with the long established pattern of small gaggles of local misfits popping up, adopting scary names and launching little sorties into the world of violent crime. We went through such a series of disjointed episodes during the sixties and seventies, with little mobs attaching themselves to global political movements to aggrandize their childish efforts to call attention to themselves. One prosecutor described one of these groups, a recently formed group of young ex-con bombers, bankrobbers, kidnappers, captured by the FBI and sitting in Federal Court to answer for their immature adventures, as "Small children playing at being terrorists -- except that they are using real guns and real bombs." The world's press was both a confused reporter of these episodes, and an unwitting cause of a lot of them, in that they could never find a guiding mastermind behind these unconnected eruptions, and they were all the time providing a wonderful advertising source for wannabees.
London Metropolitan Police, pressed by media to react to some sort of international threat, called the recent bombings for what they were -- simply more examples of the kind of amateurish violence the British Isles have been used to for many years, and to be dealt with as one would with any bunch of rowdies. You start with the crime scene, gather the evidence, identify the perpetrators, hunt them down and arrest them... as the petty criminals they are.
When the first terrorist strikes were carried out by bin Laden's personal gang he called "al qaeda", and latched onto a local tribe of goons-for-hire in Afghanistan, the media, conspiracy fans, and a world weaned on sensational spy novels immediately adopted him as the "mastermind" who would lead some sort of massive Islamic revolutionary movement. Bin Laden even dignified his fanatical power surge by hiring a cleric to relate it to the recorded utterances of Mohammad, and similar misinterpretations as touted by the Wahhabi cult of Islam. This immediately appealed to all the intellectual clerics, many of whom swallowed this sham and tried to "explain" this new brand of terrorism as some kind of international movement.
The rocket had gone up, and was selling places for advertising on the next launch -- attracting not only every nut case loser seeking notoriety, but some third world nations like Syria and Iran, who were worried that ideas of freedom and democratic government might catch on in their neighborhoods, started backing more goons-for-hire, disguising them as "terrorists" to magnify their questionable tactics. In any case, "terrorism", like "communism" in the sixties and seventies, became a buzz-word and now has little or nothing to do with some sort of plan for Islamic world-domination. For Islamic clerics to try to "interpret" this or that terrorist act in terms of Islamic dogma, much less to promise that by accepting fanatics along with traditional Muslims into our communities will somehow protect us from violence, is ridiculous.
Iraq has become a focal point of terrorist violence only because ad-hoc goons are being sent into the fray under the "terrorist" banner, to disrupt the huge successes of the Iraqi people to establish their own democratically elected government, bypassing the quasi-religious dictatorships that surround them. Freedom is a human condition that terrifies dictators of all stripes. Allied forces in Iraq and law-enforcement agencies world wide are daily identifying and destroying these ad-hoc cells. Some of them seem to have a connection with a central coordinating al-qaeda movement. But it is increasingly apparent that most of the terrorist actions around the world, including the recent bombings in London and Madrid, are the work of small groups of losers who can't think of any other way to draw attention to themselves and their warped viewpoints, and decide to do something that will upset the grownups.
Free nations will always be susceptible to the random violent tantrums of ignored losers and psychopaths with some radical political or religious idea. But the terrorist strikes up to now, have been the product of amateurish planning, carried out by near-moronic individuals, and capitalized on by a handful of intellectuals who take credit for them. The media is the fulcrum and the forum for terrorism. Terrorism is a last-ditch resistance to the real future of the world -- the spreading concept of freedom. But to those who fear having to think for themselves, much less live in a society unfettered by an absolute power over them, freedom is a dirty word. The perpetrators of the London bombings, like those in other parts of the world, will not be found in the airconditioned caves of Al-Qaeda, per se, but in local filthy garrets and club houses of the same amateur anarchists we have seen in the past. "Small children, playing at being terrorists -- only using real guns and real bombs."

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2023 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)