Tuesday, July 05, 2005

terrorism in America

I was debating in my head today the U.S strategy for defeating terrorism. One question was, "have we ever faced anything similar before?" One thought was that we have actually had domestic terrorism before named the KKK. The scale of what they did in the past was never that of Al Qaeda's, but they created true fear nonetheless. It was also targeted somewhat more specifically at certain perceived ethnicities, and therefore not felt as acutely by the, well, basically WASPs. But there was a time, when politicians had to think about what the KKK would do when making decisions. American citizens might fear to go certain places or do certain things because of their presence. It was also quite loosely organized, similar to contemporary terrorist groups.

What is interesting about it is that it seems the KKK is largely defeated. Yes, it still exists. But the general support it once had regionally is now almost gone. Few fear to go some places because they exist. Their political views are those of an increasingly small and isolated minority. And those who commit hate crimes such as this are generally viewed with disgust and disdain, not pseudo-heroes. If this is true, how did we pull it off? How did it become a tiny bunch of malcontents with no public sway, thought of as at best stupid, and at worst gross criminals?

Good question. Part of it is greater prosecution. It has taken a long while, but there is no denying that governments have cracked down on racially motivated crimes, as compared to the 50s. That is the go get em, lock em up, and kill em component. There has also been a mental shift. The societal base has srunk and shrunk. How did that happen exactly? The culture turned. I cannot say exactly how this occurred. It's general. It's in housing, employment, pop culture of movies and music..... But somehow the very same "silent majority" which condoned lynching in the South turned against it.

So the point? It seems like this is generally what needs to happen in the war on terrorism. We will never get rid of every person who wants to hurt Americans. Bad guys are here to stay, so you need a plan to get them. You also need a plan to isolate them from their support. They must become the bad guys in their own countries. It is surely possible. If the south can turn against violent racism, then it can happen. So let's see the plan for making that happen.

It is sad that there will be a number of people who view this with suspicion. But let me repeat. The idea is to isolate radicals. Surely, that is important, as we have managed to increasingly isolate racists in the US.

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