Column: Getting real tough

By Elie Dvorin

A terrorist bomb killed nineteen people in Bali. Thousands are dead in Iraq and scores more die every day. They died in London and they died in Madrid. And this is on top of the thousands dead in Israel and the thousands killed on 9/11. Terrorism is running rampant and there appears to be no end in sight. And why should there be? After all, it’s our non-aggressive politically correct approach to terrorism that allows it to flourish.

If you’re looking for someone to blame for these deaths, look no further than the leftist groups that force us to afford terrorist suspects the same legal rights that we do our own citizens. Blame those that consider fighting terrorism an issue of criminal justice and not a national security issue that requires the military. Blame those opposed to racial profiling despite the fact that the vast majority of all terrorists are Arab-Muslim males between the ages of 21-35. Blame those that claim our foreign policy and our military are creating terrorists.

In order to effectively combat terrorism, we need to buck our prohibitive mindset and stop treating terrorism like a problem we can solve through conventional means. Too many people operate under the assumption that in order to win the war on terrorism we have to understand why it is that terrorists want to kill us. Not only do we not need to operate under this assumption, but doing so is negligent. While we attempt to understand them, they are attempting to kill us. The fact of the matter is that the “why” of it is completely irrelevant. Terrorists understand one thing and one thing only – violence.

It is my contention that the only way to defeat terrorism is to preemptively pound terrorists into submission. We need to kill them before they can kill us. There’s no other way. What can you possibly do within the constraints of the criminal justice system to deter somebody who’s willing to kill themselves in order to kill more people? If somebody’s willing to blow themselves up, do you think they’d be deterred by possible jail time? By the death penalty? Of course not. The terrorist’s mind is one of determination and the only way to win this war is to disable them before that determination can kick in.

Surely, it’s impossible to preemptively kill all global terrorists, but this is no reason to accept defeat. The main reason we cannot execute members of terrorist groups before they strike is that we don’t know who and where they are. But in the cases that we do, we have no time to waste. Furthermore, these operations shouldn’t be covert. They are meant to send a message to potential terrorists and governments that harbor terrorists. Every known member or affiliate of al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah needs one thing and one thing only – a bullet in the head.

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As citizens concerned with the eradication of terrorism, we cannot discriminate between active and passive terrorists. The active terrorist blows himself up while the passive terrorist allows for that to happen. He provides funding, refuge and political cover for the terrorist operations. We need to understand that terrorism doesn’t occur in a vacuum and that for every terrorist attack, there are several others who made that attack possible. The entire terrorist infrastructure embodies a new type of evil that must be wiped out like the cancer that it is.

In order to alter our strategy of fighting terrorism, we need to stop thinking of terrorists as human beings worthy of the same rights that freedom-loving people deserve. We need to think of terrorists the same way we think of deadly diseases – those who need to be destroyed for the good of humanity. When we think of terrorists as misguided people, we become susceptible to justifying their behavior and ideology. Justification of terrorism is just as bad as committing acts of terrorism. We need to stay true to our values and exterminate the terrorists who want to destroy them.

Elie Dvorin is a senior in LAS. His column appears every Monday. He can be reached at [email protected].