I recall that when I was at college I took a class the semester of the 9/11 attack. The class was about foreign policy and it was very good. There was however, a very interesting comment early on in the class made by the professor. He was an excellent professor and we were talking about the attack and more broadly about terrorists in general. He was asking the class how we as a country could deal with terrorists. A lot of ideas were brought up and mostly centered around the idea that the only way someone would become a suicide bomber is because they felt disenfranchised. After discussing the many qualifications of the bombers, we turned to economic opportunity. This went on for a while and the professor said something that shut the whole room up:

He said:
If they have economic opportunity and education and can vote and carry on living a pretty decent life and still they want to become a suicide bomber, how can we stop them? What motivates them? Well, they are motivated by religion. They are motivated by the fact that islam will eventually take over the world and they are helping to do that. And they are reassured that their family will be taken care of and they will be martyred. So what if now we send the CIA to track down every person in the family of each of these terrorists and simply knock on the door and when they open it, just put a bullet in the head of each person until all of their families were dead? Do you think that would cause more "martyrs" to reconsider?"

You could hear a pin drop...

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We'd never do it, of course, not at that level ... but the sad fact is that, when you're dealing with radical ideologues, no argument is sufficient, and you're reduced to fighting fire with fire.

I'm not surprised that "You could hear a pin drop..."


I have no idea what to say to that one.

Well, that's a big what if.  It would never happen.  But I don't think it would make a difference.  They would just consider it part of the price of martyrdom.  It's kill the infidels wherever you meet them regardless of the personal price.  They're all still going to heaven, and with honor for being the family of a martyr.

But what if you DON'T kill them?  What if you IMPRISON them - life without the possibility of parole.  They LIVE, but they are NOT martyred.  They are simply STOPPED.  For those who desire and actively pursue martyrdom, that would be perhaps the ultimate frustration.




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