Tuesday, July 26, 2005

"The Smell of Fear"

Absolutely the best piece I've ever read about Islamic terrorism. PLEASE read it (it's not very long). Link to story here, excerpt follows:
The ultimate targets of the London bombings were not, of course, human beings. Rather, they were a set of governmental policies that the terrorists hoped to change by separating political leaders from the support of their shaken citizenry. Despite this distinction, however, the underlying psychological principles involved in investigating such crimes remain the same as they would were we studying a mass- or serial-murder case, of which terrorists are in many respects the politicized version. Is this to say that the four young men suspected of being the instruments of terror on this occasion can be classified as clinical sociopaths? We will likely be unable to answer that question with certainty, now that they are dead. What we can focus on, however, are the motivations and perversities of the vastly more dangerous Islamist clerics and terrorist organizers who sought out youthful pawns and instilled in them a theology of murder.

Many political analysts have long been anxious to exclude terrorists from psychological profiling. Some fear that such scrutiny undermines the rationalization that "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" (as indeed it does - just ask Reuters - ed.), while others worry that focus on the mental pathologies of terrorists will detract from whatever legitimacy their causes may hold--just as the psychosis of Hitler overshadowed Germany's grievances about excessive war reparations. But Hitler did not redress injustices against his nation, he prostituted them to his megalomaniacal visions. In the same way, the preachers of Islamist terror are less interested in securing prosperity and dignity for their peoples than they are in finding new communities of human instruments that they can enlist in their demented campaign to turn History's clock back.
The article also gives examples at how trying to negotiate with terrorists, such as Spain's election of an anti-war socialist so as not to further piss off the terrorists that had just killed a bunch of their citizens, has always backfired. In short, it shoots to hell this notion that terrorists have a grievance that, if assuaged, would just make them start playing more nicely with those of us in the civilized world.

"Sociopaths revel most in assaulting terrified, submissive victims." If Howard Dean and the MoveOn moonbats had their way, we would be said submissives.