Moments of Permanence - an idle note

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Previous Entry an idle note Apr. 9th, 2017 @ 10:38 am Next Entry
You know, I can accept the notion that it is pretty much guaranteed that there will be further terrorist attacks in the future.

I would really, really like to reverse the trend of this century so far and have the world at large consider maybe, just for a change, not letting the terrorists win.

The objective of terrorism is, as the name suggests, to provoke terror. The objective is to cause people to freak out and panic and lose their shit in exactly the way that people keep doing, and seriously, World, could we not?

I'm looking at the media, here, especially.

As far as I'm concerned these should be the rules:

- If some idiot drives a truck into a crowd, he should not be called a terrorist, he should be called a bad driver, or a truck thief, or, you know, an idiot.

- If ISIS claim credit for something, they should be ignored. They want attention. Stop giving it to them. A couple of weeks ago I fell over and hit my head and sprained my wrist, and if I was globally important and they could find a pretext, ISIS would totally claim credit for that.

- For that matter? If there's a terrorist attack, and some idiots claim they were totally behind that, stop reporting that as "claiming credit". Report that they "acknowledged blame".

This keeps happening because it keeps working. Any time there's anything remotely resembling a terrorist attack, the reaction needs to follow these steps:

1) assess what the terrorists wanted out of this

2) make sure they don't get it

They want people to freak out? Don't. They want to ramp up ethno-religious tensions? Make a point of stepping up friendly inclusion. They want to be talked about? Don't use their names, dismiss any organisations wanting to be associated with it out of hand.

So some idiot killed four people in Sweden with a truck? Well, that's bad drivers for you. Apply necessary criminal penalties to his actions and don't give him any more reaction than that. Some creeps with a pretentious name somewhere want to say they were totally behind that? Them and, like, six others. Hush now, grownups are talking.

Because, seriously, this doesn't stop if it always works.

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From:[personal profile] deird1
Date: April 9th, 2017 10:39 pm (UTC)
I like the way you think. :)
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From:[personal profile] sami
Date: April 11th, 2017 04:02 am (UTC)
Thank you.

It tied in to what may become an entire separate post about how the main thing wrong with the world right now is a lack of empathy, in general, which leads both to a shortage of compassion for people who deserve it but also a tendency to get a lot of things very, very wrong on a larger scale.

Lack of empathy is what got us the Trump presidency - both from the people who voted for him and, in the category of "with less excuse for this", on the part of the Democrats.

And more people really need to apply empathy to people like terrorists. Because if you don't think of them as people, if you think of them as somehow some kind of incomprehensible alien Other, then you will never, ever respond to them in a way that actually makes things any better.

There is a reason why they do what they do. They have a motive, and an objective, and the only way to stop terrorism is to frustrate the objective and, ideally, set about dismantling the motive.

If we react to terrorism in exactly the way the terrorists want while reinforcing the motive, all we will ever do is make more terrorists.
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