Terrorism is such a bad thing that all terrorists should be punished. It would probably be best if they were all killed before they could cause any damage to us.
The problem is that terrorism is like the Hydra. Cut off a few heads and they not only grow back, they multiply. The end result is even more terrorists.
So the current method of attempting to control, reduce and eradicate terrorism is obviously failing.
Just what is terrorism?
At its base, terrorism is the means which some people, yes, terrorists are people too, use to gain political power. It is not to be confused with the individual, random acts committed by the suicidal and mentally ill who suddenly run right off the rails.
The true terrorist leader is older, much more calculating and hides in the background. He uses the very inequalities he seeks to overcome to recruit followers. Whatever his background or origin, his aim is to over throw the status quo creating a new status quo where he is the leader.
A terrorist organisation needs to be looked at as a political organisation.
Just as it would be impossible to eliminate the Democrats or the Republicans in the USA, or the Labour Party or the Tories in Britain, so it is impossible to eliminate the terrorists once they have created themselves in a country.
Why? Because they represent an ideal, an idea!
Terrorism gains its power from using violence as opposed to the ballot box. Modern terrorism gains its members from the disaffected young. The very people who are at their most idealistic and ready to try to change their world. These young people are the lifeblood of the terrorist leadership.
There are two ways of dealing with the disaffected young.
We can try to control them after they have become disaffected or we can stop them from becoming disaffected.
Our current method of attempting to put the genie back in the bottle is obviously failing. The world has become a much more dangerous place since all out war against terrorism was declared. The disaffected young have multiplied in the resultant chaos and have gathered at the banner of the terrorist leaderships.
Another course of action.
Perhaps what is needed is a total redefining of the problem.
Rather than using the old Biblical, and totally human, reaction of an eye for an eye, perhaps the Christian ideal of “turning the other cheek” may be of use. It has certainly never been tried on a mass level.
Maybe the nations of the world should stop the war on terror and concentrate on creating a world where there are no disaffected youth. Cut off the terrorist leadership and isolate them from their powerbase.
A Sort of Conclusion
Could the cost of improving the conditions in places where terrorism is growing be more than the continuing cost of the wars to control terrorism?
Certainly the methods used by our nations is not working.
A change in direction may just create the conditions needed to reduce, if not eliminate, the threat of terrorism.
The real problem is that there are those in power in our nations who would see the proposal of this solution as a new form of terrorism.