Terrorism, can it be stopped?
Why acts of terrorism occur.
1 December, 2019, another terrorist knife attack in London. Terrible for the victims and their families, but oh so predictable statements afterwards.
Politicians saying they will be tougher on terrorism. Lawyers hiding publicly but privately welcoming yet another huge pay out from tax payers to them. Terrorists claiming glory for their ideology. Liberal left claiming must not punish everyone etc.
All in vain. Not one word will stop other innocent victim being hurt, not one word will save other families form the gut wrenching fear and anguish. Acts of terrorism are carried out because of ideologies. Whether it is political, such as those perpetrated by the IRA or quasi-religious, carried out by people who are convinced that killing innocent people will make others accept the religious laws of the perpetrators. An objective and rational appraisal will show that neither cause will ever succeed, but that does not stop the irrational and unrealistic perpetrators.
The claims by the extreme left that they will stop terrorism have far less validity than claims than if elected Mr. Corbyn would ensure Britain becomes a one party state with the only candidates being available for election in the future being those chosen by Momentum. We all accept that such extremism will provoke a massive rejection by the British public and so is unlikely, but so is the left's claim they can stop terrorism. Appeasement has never worked. Study history. Appeasement never works.
It is a “rule” started by left wing terrorists back in the 1960s that acts of terror can provoke the authorities into such draconian repression of the lives of “ordinary” people, that these people will turn against the authorities. The advocates of this idea assume that the people rejecting the authority will turn to them, the terrorists, for support against the authorities. This may actually work in a relatively unsophisticated society where education and communication are still able to be manipulated. In a modern media drenched and open to all society, this is less like to happen. Yes people will still rebel against draconian activities by the authority but in a democracy this rebellion will take the form of electoral defeat rather than support for the violence of terrorism. Logically this should persuade all terrorists that acts of random violence are not going to have the intended effect so they should not bother, but it does not appear that such evaluation is made by those willing to kill at random, including killing themselves for a cause. This lack of logical and rational evaluation is what makes the perpetrators so hard to contain. If we can not persuade them to stop their activities, then we have to make the carrying out of such atrocities, so painful for the perpetrators, that some at least will stop these activities.
There is usually a call for aid money, to be given to deprived areas where radicalized suicide bomber are recruited by the fanatics who control terrorist groups. The reasoning is if people in these areas have more material comforts they will be less disenchanted with their lives and so less willing to take up a fundamentalist cause. This sounds a good theory but is not proven. Many of the leaders of these groups come from relativity affluent family backgrounds. Consider the Baader-Meinhof group, they were mostly from middle class families. Many of the groups seeking to use force to impose an ideological view on all of the people throughout the world, are not openly materialistic; they preach salvation beyond this earthly life, not riches during it. Human nature being as it is, some people will always be convinced they personally are under valued, that others receive more than their fair share, that the world needs changing to benefit themselves. Others can be flattered into the belief that they are chosen to carry out a special task that will achieve immortality for themselves. Some of the terrorists leaders use history to persuade followers that they are fighting for a just cause. They tend to be selective about a starting point for this history and also selective about which interpretation of historical evidence to use.
Appeasement does not work, accommodation does not work. Logic and reason do not work. So what can work?
What can we do? Let us rule out “just give in” to every demand from every one, left, right, religious or agnostic, who threatens to set off a bomb. What other alternatives are there? Muddle along as we are, with socialists claiming talking nicely to people changes their ideology, agreeing to the present demands, will prevent further demands; even the most ardent socialist should realise by now that this does not work. Right wing extreme draconian rules that attempt to control even the thoughts of every person in the nation? Not acceptable? So how about: reintroduce the death penalty for terrorism. Both for carrying out the acts and for commissioning these acts to be performed by others. Get the UN to accept an international charter that allows convicted terrorist to be forcibly apprehended anywhere in the world, by people acting for the nation where the terrorism took place. In Britain change the law regarding legal aid payments for lawyers who defend terrorists. The defendants should always get state funded legal assistance when in court, or preparing to go to court, facing charges of criminal (terrorist) acts. BUT no legal aid for vexatious claims about human rights for convicted terrorists. No legal aid to appeal against deportation for activities indirectly connected to acts of terrorism. All of this to be written into a constitution that the political parties can not take advantage of. Segregate prisoners on remand or convicted of acts of, or associated with, terrorism This is segregation from other criminals, not segregation separating “political” from “religious” offenders.
Above all governments need to accept the fact that the conflict is with unreasonable people and so the security forces have to have less restrictions on their methods, than when seeking to prevent “ordinary” crimes. Shouting, “I am a police officer you are under arrest,” to a suicide bomber, is not going to make the terrorist lay down and say “It's a fair cop, I will come quietly.” When fighting an unreasonable opponent you have to use what are generally thought to be unreasonable means. It is probable that the majority of the general public accept this and they will accept actions by security forces that are outside legal niceties. The problem is the legal profession; who are fond of making legal interpretations from the safety of an office, far removed from the realities of anti terrorism street fighting. They then use state funding to try and enforce their protected view onto the officers who actually have to face guns, knives and bombs in their daily lives. We need politicians with the strength to stand up for the active service personal, against the legal profession.