I was looking at some old articles I wrote and found this one on how to counter terrorists from Freshmen year of College. This was just a few months after 9/11, but, interesting nonetheless as it’s still partly my opinion today too. Let me know what you think.

Can Terrorism ever be stopped in a free world?  As long as people are allowed to think for themselves, their will always be ones who think differently, who see the world from different eyes.  There will be ones who want to change the world, and who see that the only way they can get enough attention towards there goals is to strike out in a violent way.

Policing will never stop all terrorism.  To do this, we would have to monitor every single person in the world at every time.  Once we start doing this, are we still in a free world?  What’s to stop someone from using this monitoring information for there own greedy needs?   And who is to police the policers?  In theory, it is impossible to monitor all of society and remain a free country.  Privacy laws would have to be drastically changes, first amendment rights would be under siege (wouldn’t 24 monitoring be against the right to being searched without a warrant?).  Thought technology will soon make the idea of monitoring everything all the time, with computer doing most of the work, a feasible idea, is it something that we want?  Is the cost of eliminating terrorism forsaking all our freedoms and privacy?

There are other alternatives.  One would be to dig down further and see what causes Terrorism.  Obviously there is some reason that terrorist acts against the United States have been increasing in the past few decades?  What has changed in the world in this time?
In the past few decades, US corporations have frolicked on the path towards Globalization, basically making the world one big Capitalist goldmine for US corporations to feed of and get richer from.  In doing this, we have infringed on many cultures, not really helped reduce poverty at all in most poor Capitalist countries, and angered people.  We need to reform capitalism and stop angering the poor people.  Namely, Arabs have been the most infringed upon because there culture is one of the oldest on the planet, and old traditions are hard to break.  We need to make capitalism fairer to the poor countries, and give them more of a change to compete against us.  The WTO and NAFTA often strike down any attempts by the poor countries to try and give some edge to local farmers or companies, all in the name of a “Global Economy.”  All this really does is keep the country poor and dependent on the products of the rich multinational corporations of the United States.  This policy needs to change; the best way to reduce terrorism would be to reduce Global Poverty.

Obviously, attacking countries trying to drive the terrorists out isn’t going to solve the problem.  Once we drive them out in one place, they go somewhere else.  The only way to fix things would be to change the country they are in to a better place so that they are no longer welcome there.  The US ignored Afghanistan for a decade, and look what happened?  You’d think that we would have learned from this, but look across the continent into Africa and you see an eerily similar story.  Somalia.  Somalia, during the cold war a focal point of conflict between the US and Russia, once the cold war was over, a worthless piece of land to throw away.  Which is basically what we did, and the current administration shows little resolve in fixing this problem, save sending a few commando units to drive out the Al-Qaeda from there. If we aren’t going to fix this problem now, when are we?  After the next huge attack?  Or will we ever?

To stop terrorism we can’t just throw out military at the problem.  The problem is hard to see, and it can only be fixed from the inside.  By making the world a place where large-scale terrorists organizations are unnecessary is the way to go.  Otherwise we will be fighting against an invisible enemy or sending the world toward a Police-State rule, two things that nobody wants.

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