Modern tactics

Barry Rubin describes Fear and gullibility as weapons with terrorists as the point of view. These are the tactics of ‘we don’t care about you or anything but our fantasies and we will outlast you’ – they are seen not only in the conduct of mid-east terrorism but also in other conflicts from eco-terrorism to lawfare.

Finally, our greatest weapon is that you truly don’t understand all the points made above. You are taught, informed, and often led by people who simply don’t comprehend what an alternative, highly ideological, revolutionary world view means.

In effect, we will try, and will often succeed, to turn your “best and brightest” into the worst and dimmest who think you can persuade us, who blame you for the conflicts, or expect that we will alter our course. We will use those mistakes against you.

Remember Dirty Harry? That movies and its successors was a response to the initial forays of modern terrorism from the tail of the sixties. An villain who does not care about any but his own desires and a society that is so concerned with image that it falls into failing to protect vitalities.

See the Volokh Conspiracy for an example of the dilemma. It a lawyer obligated to his client or to justice? Which first? Because there is a question, the terrorists have a lever, a place to apply their tactics, so that the damage to their enemy is done.

UPDATE: The Belmont Club takes up on modern tactics in an entry about how China stops airline terror attack. It looks at an LA Times assertion that the repression of rights in China is what allowed them an advantage over democratic societies.

The mistaken supposition that Democracy equals weakness should be challenged on its first principles. Democracies are only vulnerable when its features are used to restrict society rather than to empower it. If the past ideal was a citizen who acted without being told; today it is not to act unless explicitly told. Order has become alles in ornung in the politically correct sense. But the West hasn’t arrived at this inversion by accident. For too long chains have been marketed under the name of liberty. ‘Promoting tolerance’, for example, is now a code word for restricting speech. ‘Academic freedom’ now too often means that no dissent is allowed on campus. ‘Punishing those who break the law’ now connotes lawsuits against telecommunications companies which have voluntarily cooperated with Federal authorities to wiretap terrorism suspects.

in other words, modern tactics against western culture and its democracies have been effective.

But the real benefit of this switcheroo is that the public can eventually be persuaded to believe that freedom is dangerous; that a real trade-off exists between democracy and safety; when in reality it is a false choice between a kind of wooley-headed socialism and safety. In the end the perpetrators of this swindle may be able to persuade the public that it’s really safer to be like China than like America. And eventually get that way by the high or low road.

will it eventually get that way? will the modern tactics succeed?

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