How to stop terrorism

There has always been terrorism in the world, terrorism is one of the easiest weapons people have to fight against a larger state, culture or power. Terrorism is simply performing violence against a society in such a way as to strike fear and intimidation into that society, therefore terrorism is typically against civilian non-military targets. Terrorism isn’t simply a buzz word; the goal of terrorism is different from the goal of typical warfare, in that terrorism doesn’t seek a victory on a battlefield, over land or even over ideological or economic interests, but instead seeks to inflict fear and psychological trauma on the widest number of people as possible. So while the goals of typical warfare and the goals of terrorism may overlap in either direction, terrorism itself is a separate thing from war.

The problem in the west today is that we treat terrorism as if it were a typical war. This is mistaken on several counts. For one thing, there is no nation-state army to focus attacks on, no homeland that can be taken to where the enemy would declare defeat, because the regular goals of warfare don’t apply in terrorism. Terrorists aren’t trying to win or defend land or armies, although that my still be part of their larger agenda the primary reason for terrorism had nothing to do with that. Fighting terrorism as if it were a war is therefore not very effective, as we’ve seen today.

In a world such as today where numerous machines and weapons are easily available to the public, terrorism becomes very easy to do. The main thing that has ever prevented terrorism is the realization on the part of the would-be terrorist that the act of committing terrorism would be irrational and undesirable to themselves; why? Because committing a terrorist act puts oneself at risk of being killed or captured and sent to prison. Even if people out there feel violent anger and disaffection and perhaps have some thoughts of committing a terrorist act for whatever reason, mostly they never do. This is out of basic reasoning on their part, just like for any of us where we go through a cost benefit analysis for the things we do. We may at one point feel some urge to commit a crime, some people even feel an urge to kill another person for some reason, maybe a personal slight or whatever, but usually never act on this urges because people exercise their reason and conclude the cost isn’t worth it.

With Islam, this has totally changed. I’m not saying that Muslims cannot be rational, but the nature of Islam seems to posit a higher value than rational cost benefit analysis. It is like this for other religions too, but the superficial nature of for example Christianity leads most Christians to never actually in fact assert something more fundamentally in their psychology than a personal cost benefit analysis. For whatever reason, Islamic people who fall victim to ideological extremism and psychological manipulation do not have the standard rational cost benefit analysis that would otherwise keep their thoughts of committing terroristic violence from becoming actions.

This would hold true for any terrorist no matter of what religion or cause they have: to move from thinking about to actually committing terrorism requires a suspension of rational thinking and valuing. This is one reason why this kind of violence is necessarily irrational, and also why it is generally very rare. Most people aren’t capable of that kind of irrationality on such a scale.

The way to fight terrorism is to focus on the psychological and cultural factors that contribute to the degree to which a person is able to rationally suppress violent motivations, especially on a large scale such as with a terrorist attack. Terrorists aren’t concerned with their own life, they don’t care about staying around for their families, and they don’t have the moral sense to care about the victims they kill. This is a strange sort of human indeed.

We can bomb as many countries as we like, conduct air strikes, even invade with armies, try nation building, and none of that is gong to work. The ONLY thing that prevents terrorism (from any group, ideology, or religion) is the psychological rational valuing and cost benefit apparatus in the human mind and heart. Well of course morality also prevents terrorism, but that’s different because a person who has morality isn’t going to reach the stage of contemplating committing terrorism, and we’re talking here about people who are at that stage and may shift over into the following stage of actually acting on the motive.

A society can be as militarized and safe and active in overseas combat against the Middle East as possible; and all that in no way means they are making themselves safe from terrorism. Taking that “brute physical” approach yields the logical extreme end that every person would need to be deprived of any and all means of committing terrorist acts, which is not possible. Even taking all guns away leaves a black market, and even assuming no black market there are still plenty of ways for one human being to kill another. That’s never going to change unless we’re all locked up in little sealed bubbles staring at screens all day. And even so, workers in infrastructure, food, security, etc. will always have access to the potential means to harm people.

The logic of the current approach of western nations to combating terrorism is very bad; this logic is basically the logic I outlined above, of trying to remove the means for people to kill each other. It’s one thing to take reasonable steps such as limiting firearm ownership and banning military weapons to the public, but beyond that there’s nowhere else to go. It’s the wrong logic. It’s stupid, ignorant and lazy. The only way to prevent terrorism is to realize that the only way terrorism has ever not happened everywhere is because people feel connected to their own life, family and community and have a general level of rational involvement and cost benefit motivation for their life. This deep-seated psychological connection to oneself and others acts as a natural and very effective deterrent even when s person is brainwashed by a crazy ideology or becomes disaffected and obsessed with hate or a personal vendetta ofsome kind. Violent crimes fall into one of two categories: crimes of passion where the momentary emotional surge temporarily overrides the rational cost benefit mechanism of life-connection a person has, or crimes of calculation where the person sincerely believes they can avoid getting caught. Avoiding getting caught is adhering to the cost benefit rational analysis, but of course this isn’t a factor for most terrorist acts.

So governments and policy makers and people with influence need to be asking: A: How do we increase the factors that support the nature rational psychological connection and cost benefit analysis of people, and B: how do we decrease the factors that undercut it? Making blanket statements about all Muslims, deliberately not caring about how foreign people can integrate into communities or about their own family and economic status, and not working with local religious leaders and people to provide counter-messages to extreme hate-based thinking and emotions that are quite natural after someone has been through extensive trauma, are all very stupid approaches. Ignoring the factors on sides A and B in favor of demonizing whole groups as if the people in those groups admitted no individuality at all, and attacking terrorism as if you were attacking in a conventional war among nation-states, is really fucking stupid. But the animalistic logic of pure reaction and linear thinking is difficult to break.

People will only stop being terrorists when they sincerely feel and know that their lives are better alive than dead, better participating in their own lives than sacrificing all that to an emotional urge. Extreme religion and extreme ideology take over this part of the mind-emotions and convince someone they are better off ignoring their own being alive, their own self-valuing, in favor of some other supposed value such as martyrdom. We can’t get in all of those religions and ideologies to prevent those kind of messages from being spread, but we can increase conditions on side A and decrease then on side B. This is about making a better world where better human beings naturally arise from the conditions inherent to that world; it isn’t about using brute force to somehow physically prevent anyone from killing anyone else.

And it certainly isn’t about vengeance and reactionary violence in response to a terrorist event. That kind of revenge and reaction-based approach only throws more fuel on the fire. You can’t fight hate and pain with more hate and pain, not on this level.

The other problem with demonizing all Muslims, such as Trump does for example, is that this kind of blanket stereotyping has a severe psychological impact on people in that group. If you’re Caucasian or generally affluent and dominant race in where you live, odds are you don’t know anything about this psychological harm caused by extreme stereotyping. We might dismiss the idea as if stereotyping weren’t that bad, maybe just a very small evil, maybe just an inconvenience for people who are stereotyped-- not at all. Being stereotyped is extremely emotionally and mentally damaging, induces trauma, confuses natural trust and self-valuing, and leads to anger and feeling disaffected and excluded. These feelings linger and even spread to include others in your own group as part of the “against them” mentality, your group versus those who stereotype you. Being stereotyped is a direct targeted assault on a human self-value. There is no more insidious kind of attack.

Just because most people seem to bear very well the injustice of racism, stereotyping, profiling and being victims of demagogues like Trump, doesn’t mean these people are in fact doing ok. Again, if you’re part of the dominant group racially or otherwise where you live, you simply cannot understand what this is like unless you seriously and humbly put yourself mentally and emotionally in their shoes… What is it like for a human being to be preemptively judged and found wanting like that, to be attacked not for what they did but for who they are? The injustice and great trauma of racism/sexism/bigotry and stereotyping is severely underestimated by people of the main culture, group, race, etc.

Hateful speech and stereotyping literally creates terrorists. But that’s just in the extreme; on lesser levels it creates widespread and very deep mental and emotional harm to people. This is literally, physically hurting people. So just fucking stop doing it. It isn’t a practical solution and even if it was, it’s only reducing yourself to subhuman status. When you judge and find wanting another person based on what they are, on their race, gender, religion, etc. you quite literally commit the inhuman, irrational act par excellence.

The first law of human being, of reason and freedom, which means of real human values, is that individual people are individual people and must be valued based on the merit of what they do or do not do, as individuals. To strip away a person’s individuality by preempting individual value for a group affiliation, especially groups we didn’t choose like race or gender or religion (yes most people don’t select their religion), is a gross act of inhumanity that could never have any good come of it. On a psychological existential level such a bigoted act actually reduces the person themselves who commits it to the status of pre-human animal.

I will let you in on a little secret - America wants terrorism to happen.

This is so it can give itself excuses to invade more countries, start more wars, and pass more rules and regs and invade the privacy of it’s citizens.

Do you know that they actually prefer letting in violent Muslim immigrants over peaceful ones?

In essence, terrorism is the keycard that gives America an excuse for power.

PS: People who don’t have the willpower to choose their own religion (in a free country) are feebleminded.

How do you know that American government prefers to let in violent immigrants over peaceful ones? That sounds like an insane thing to say, so I’m sure you have something to back that up with? The process for legally coming to America even as a war refugee is very extensive, involving multiple interviews and background investigations, interviewing family members, all of which takes months or even years.

It’s a stupid myth, a talking point, that the US simply lets in refugees without “vetting” them first. Demagogues like Trump will say anything to get people whipped into an angry or fearful frenzy, including outright lie.

P.S. Yes it is tragic that most religious people didn’t choose their religious beliefs and simply passively received them from family or extant culture, but this is just the way it usually is. Religion and culture tend to perpetuate unconsciously like that.

Terrorism may or may not be rational, and some terrorists have a morality, just not yours.
If a society is attacking your society for what you perceive to be unjust reasons, you attack them back.
It’s not hard, if you hit me, I’d hit you.
It’s self defense and a deterrence.

Terrorism may eventually get someone like Rand Paul or Bernie Sanders, Gary Johnson or Jill Stein elected, a pacifist, because people are tired of the bloodshed at home and abroad.
On the other hand, depending on how things unfold, they might escalate, and we could wind up with an even more militant foreign policy.
Some Arabs just want America and Israel out of their lands, where as others want to convert the heathen and the infidels, because they believe their religion, morals and values are superior to ours.
While Donald Trump is far from pacifist, he doesn’t seem to be in favor of nation building, he didn’t support the war in Iraq.
He wants to attack Isis, but also strengthen the existing government in Syria, where as the current administration wants to overthrow Assad, and is funding revolutionaries and terrorists in order to do so.

Look it up on youtube.

They do vet them first. They make sure they are potential terrorists.

Your reference is “see Youtube”, seriously? Not even a link to a video, hopefully from a legitimate source?

Please tell me this isn’t what passes for thinking in your world.

Look, you’re advocating for a religion that puts a ban on thinking, so don’t tell me what thinking is or isn’t.

You didn’t answe my question. And no, I am not advocating or arguing for any religion at all. You seem to be (deliberately?) misunderstanding what I wrote here.

Please try thinking about what I said regarding bigotry, stereotyping and the primary value of treating people first as individuals and only second as members of groups, in particular groups that are not freely and openly chosen.

They are immigrants to America, which is a free country and they are doing their religion under their own volition.

It seeks to make a point to others and/or to its own people. Whereas you are making it sound irrational, and that it is not simply the same as any politic and society. Yes sometimes and to some people, that will just be having a bash at ‘them’, whilst knowing you wont be winning wars like that. Yet just like a soldier, they will think they are doing their bit.

As I wrote above, sometimes the goals of war and terrorism overlap in either direction. Please try to think more critically and nuanced about these issues, or at least read what is posted.

Terrorism is basically just counter insurgency against government and since government creates many enemies or disaffected people everywhere terrorism will never go away anytime soon. At this rate of enemies and disaffected people world governments are creating yearly terrorism will only increase exponentially. Everybody might as well get use to it now as terrorism spreads across the planet in one form or another.

The way to stop terrorism is one, restrict certain ethnic and religious groups from entering our countries, namely Arabs (ethnic) and Muslims (religious).
Blacks aren’t committing it, Hispanics aren’t, Hindus and Chinese aren’t, Christians and Buddhists aren’t, only Arabs and Muslims are.
Two, withdraw our troops from their lands, and stop supporting Israel.
If they want American style Authoritarianism - central banks, two party dictatorships, capitalism, liberal fascism and Scientific, Psychiatric and pharmaceutical fascism and so on over there, they’ll fight for them, stop intervening in their shit, it’s pissing them off.
And seriously, who the fuck cares about Israel?
Why aren’t there any American, European or Japanese lobbies in Israel dominating their foreign policy?
Why isn’t Israel donating billions and trillions of dollars to America, Canada and Australia?
Israel has one of the most powerful armies in the world, because we’ve propped them up, let the bastards take care of themselves and if they can’t, too bad, let them be destroyed by Iran, after all, they destroyed Palestine, do the world a favor and stop Jewish terrorism.
How we treat people abroad, affects how we’re treated at home.

Yes, fuck Israel. Agreed. I am a half Semite here so fuck all of you Semitic apologist whiny bitches.

Well, that explains this nose.

Half not full. :wink:

Also, there is no way to combat against terrorism entirely as it is the process of revolutionary and insurgent activities that world history is full of since the dawn of civilization.

If you destroy one terrorist cell another one is created shortly after.

My grandather was branded terrorist by the nazis because he got shit done. It is an honorary title in a sense.

The cost benefit issue is evidently crucial. In the islamic case, miscalculations are made on account of the lore of reward, 72 virgins, in which many of them believe. It fucks up the calculation.

This is why I so absolutely reject the religion (not “terrorism”) on all of its terms. It is only a means of having people miscalculate their worth and that of others and commit the most perverse and stupid sort of violent oppression or resistance, depending on whos on top.

In other words, theres no upside to it. Its form of terrorism is one of its least significant evils. Terrorism is human, Islam is not.

I mean this very literally : there is no such thing as an Islamic individual. In as far as the person is an individual, he or she is radically heretic. Such must so far remain private
Such souls are strictly helped by disavowing their (parents) religion in the most rigorous and convincing terms.

There’s terrorism and then there is religious fundamentalism. I think they need to separate the two in distinct categories.