Potiphar12's Blog
An Octogenarian in the modern world

TERRORIST ATTACKS

The murder of an elderly Roman Catholic priest is about as low as you can get. It suggests that nobody, anywhere is totally safe. I wonder if things would be a bit different if we accepted terrorism as an unfortunate fact of life similar to traffic accidents and floods and bush fires.

The terrorists are using our thirst for sensational news to boost their influence and recruit new fanatics. A young man newly radicalized can currently look forward to two big rewards as he walks out on his suicide mission. One is immediate entry to paradise. The other is world-wide publicity. The people who sent him out are interested only in the second of those consequences. From their point of view the attack in a village near Rouen is a huge success. Colossal publicity for the loss of two unimportant recruits.

If there were no more publicity than a mention in the local paper then whoever is behind the radicalizing programme  would get frustrated. More and more effort would be expended with no increase in benefit.

So maybe we should respond differently. Maybe  we should maintain or increase our security and our skill at damage limitation but do it very quietly and ask the media to seek other sensations. 

The shooting of the two terrorists was wise, but taking them alive is preferable if it can be done without risk to others. Thirty years in a harsh prison compares poorly with eternity amongst the houris of paradise.

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