Yesterday, I encouraged readers to read Tom McDonald's piece responding to the terrorist attack in Paris.
Today, I'm asking you to read Mark Shea's response:
So, yet again, Bronze Age savages with 21st century technology have inflicted a wound on civilization by demonstrating that a statistically significant swath of the Religion of Peace can’t cope with people who make fun of it. The massacre in Paris is one of a thousand others like it and we recognize that this kind of Radical Muslim evil is of a piece with similar acts around the world. Not all, or even most, Muslims do this filth but this filth one of the major exports of Islam nonetheless and Muslims have to do far better in extirpating these people and destroying their power. Of which more in a second.
The question is, what do we do about it?
One thing to ask is “What are the savages hoping we do about it?” Several things are sought by terrorist tactics. Terror (duh), anger, stupidity, rashness, and folly are all desirable outcomes for the terrorist. They all lead us victims to make ourselves more, not less, his victims. He doesn’t have a lot of staff and he doesn’t have a lot of firepower. So the idea is to use technology as a force multiplier: to make it so a handful of Bronze Age thugs dominate, first the airwaves, and then our emotions for years to come. From a purely tactical standpoint, it’s a smart move for people with limited resources and, as 9/11 demonstrates, it can be enormously successful–if the victims don’t wise up to the strategy.
And happily for the terrorists, our media are incredibly slow to wise up. So this news cycle on this story promises to go on and on and on, making these guys superstars. First, will be the breathless reportage on the Manhunt. Then, the hyperfocus on the biographies of each of the savages, with photos and names and interviews with those who knew them (“He was quiet, kept to himself”) and analyses of their motivations and terrified speculations on where people like this might strike next and breast beating about the “chilling effect” this will have on a free press and color stories on “Terrorism in Our Schools: IS *YOUR* CHILD NEXT?” and, of course, calls from the Fear News Network to “over-militarize our police“. Because only the transformation of America into a police state that regards the population as enemy combatants who should be tortured, or shot first and questions asked later, can keep us safe.
All this, which promises safety, only delivers power into the hands of terrorists. It makes them famous (even in death), places us in the permanent thrall of fear of them, and turns us (as evil always seeks to do) into the image and likeness of that which we hate.
So what can we do instead? Well, I think Exodus gives us an interesting clue.
Interesting indeed. And I think, should this tactic be employed, it'd be effective. Read it all and decide for yourself and pray that we'll heed Mark's advice.