Ming the Mechanic:
A real war-on-terrorism strategy

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 A real war-on-terrorism strategy2003-02-26 14:12
10 comments
picture by Flemming Funch

Robert Wright, who is the author of Nonzero wrote a series of excellent articles last September titled "A Real War on Terrorism". It is the best thing I've read on the subject. Wright possesses a sense of logic, which seems to be peculiarly absent in the people we elect to run our countries. What we mostly hear is talking monkeys who repeat half-baked political and religious ideas, but who somehow have avoided developing the skill of thinking the whole situation through logically.

Wright describes very well how it will only become easier and easier for small groups of motivated, angry, intelligent people to create major grief and death for large numbers of people. It is no longer a matter of what governments support it, or what public support exists for such actions. A small group can, all by its own, in complete isolation, concoct some very bad things in a garage, from ingredients that can be bought openly, that might kill hundreds of thousands. No way you can just cut off the supply. There isn't necessarily anybody to bomb. Doesn't matter if large numbers of people support it or fund it or not.

The inevitable answer is that we'll need to change the things that different geographical or cultural groups are likely to become extremely angry about. That is more about memes, about the contageous ideas that travel through cultures, than it is about what really goes on. If certain relatively small and apparently sensible actions, like arresting some trouble maker, make many more people angry, the net result easily becomes more terrorism, not less. The amount of discontent in the world is becoming a highly significant national-security variable.

There will keep being reasons for terrorism as long as there are tyrannies and major economic inequalities anywhere on the planet. The United States will be a major target of terrorism as long as it keeps being a major force behind perpetuating these. The answer is democracy, freedom and a free economic market that actually works for most people in most areas.
"A few decades from now, there will need to be a 'global civilization' in which both words are literally accurate — a planetwide community of mutually cooperative nations, bound by interdependence and international law, whose citizens are accorded freedom and economic opportunity. This is the goal we're forced toward by some of the creepier aspects of technological evolution: ever-more-compact, ever-more-accessible, ever-more-lethal munitions, and the ever-more-efficient crystallization of interest groups, including hateful ones, via information technology."
In other words, the only way out is to make a world that works for most everybody, no matter where they live, so that there is no good reason for anybody being pissed at some unfairly privileged and parasitic group of people living in some other area. I'd probably also go further and say that we need to go beyond the idea of 'nations' altogether. But that's gonna take more work. In the meantime I wish somebody would listen to what this man is saying.


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10 comments

28 Feb 2003 @ 03:54 by tdeane : First I had a voice...
that sounded out ideas, now I see, and now I'm listening... It's been a long journey. Thanks, Ming. Love ~ Tricia  


19 Dec 2014 @ 22:20 by Raphael @190.203.70.123 : XRJRUrdaTOnAX
Fire is highly uneridpctable. Forest fires depend on certain weather conditions (e.g. high winds, lack of rainfall, ect) and it might be difficult to plan exactly when and where the exact conditions will exist. I guess you could just toss a random road flare into a random pile of brush each day, but every time you do that you increase the chance that someone sees you and you wind up sitting in prison wondering where it all went wrong. In a similar vein you run the risk of having the fire successfully extinguished before it gets very far, which will also spark an arson investigation which could put L.E. on your case and impede future (more effective) terrorist attacks. And even if the fire gets going, it's difficult to prove that YOU (your organization or whatever) actually did it. Now that I think about it, the only way it really works well is if you start the fire, leave plenty of evidence, and make sure you get caught (they're willing to die for the cause anyway). My .02? If you want to do a G.G. style attack you get a far better bang/buck ratio taking out a key point in the power grid. In any case, I think a good terrorist wants to keep his or her head down until they're fairly certain you have a decent shot of doing some damage and letting everyone know that the event was not a natural disaster.  


23 Dec 2014 @ 13:43 by Julio @176.9.53.173 : jTPDRTGiGfKGFR
Honestly, does anyone out there know why the Press is kikcing up such a huge fuss about this party donation to completely drown out the serious security blunder? ?? Am I the only one who thinks this security blunder is a million times worse? (The current PM is hopeless with finances but most of the recent problems have been inherited from the ex PM, so be fair.) Maybe most people have amnesia? ??Not only did the Govt not find the missing CDs, they wasted tax payers' money to send out pointless insincere apology letters which include people' NI numbers which further jeopardising security .. This Govt takes this security issue very seriously yeah right soon the Govt would probably persuade us that pigs can fly .  


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