I offer my deepest condolescences to the victims of today’s bombings in London.
From what I’ve read, it doesn’t appear that these were suicide bombings, so maybe they’ll actually find someone to punish for this.
For all the money we’ve spent on two wars, I don’t feel one iota safer than I did right after 9/11. But that’s simply because terrorism is something you can’t fight directly.
It reminds me of an Onion article that came out shortly after 9/11, in which the U.S. government asked the terrorists to form their own country (e.g., “Osamastan”) so we could bomb it. It doesn’t work that way, unfortunately. The war in Iraq did not prevent the bombings in Madrid or London.
The age of terrorism is going to be a lot like the fifties and sixties, when people lived under the constant threat of nuclear war. In the end, after we’ve done what we realistically can to fight terrorism, we just have to live our lives–not in defiance of the terrorists, as some of our leaders would have us do, but in indifference to them, as we do earthquakes, tsunamis, and disease. A hundred years ago, a disease like smallpox could kill hundreds of thousands of people. Every age has its dangers, though we’re fortunate enough to live in a time when those dangers are minimal (though, of course, we currently have the potential to destroy all human life on Earth in a matter of days–something I think we really should get rid of).
I have a few simple suggestions for dealing with terrorism. First, dismantle the nuclear weapons. Some countries can keep a few (no more than ten) for deterrent purposes (and in case of oncoming asteroids), but those few must be kept under strict guard, with international security teams keeping an eye on them. (Okay, that’s probably too simplistic, but it’s a step in the right direction–we don’t need 10,000 nukes out there.)
Second, stop warring and start putting more eggs in the Diplomacy basket. Terrorism is indeed a swamp; drain the swamp and you have far fewer mosquitos.
But let’s be realistic: there will always be a few mosquitos. It’s just something we have to learn to live with.
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