Saturday, January 19, 2008

Over-Reaction Is Capitulation

I wanted to highlight this, from a comment I made yesterday:

The point here is that overreaction is capitulation. The point of terrorism is to provoke overreaction: excessive irrational fear, repressive measures that alienate the populace and isolate the target state within the world community, ill-considered military actions that weaken the target state defensively and economically, and so on. The goal of terrorism is to make the target state weaken itself.

Any reaction that falls into these categories constitutes at least partial capitulation to the terrorists. Irrational fear: capitulation. Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram, illegal surveillance: capitulation. Invading Iraq: capitulation. Bush is the biggest capitulationist since Marshall Petain.
Obviously the government should take prudent measures to protect its people from terrorism (among a host of other perils)--something this administration hasn't done very well. Obviously they should take whatever actions are consistent with the constitution and civilized norms to capture anyone who is actively trying to commit acts of terror against us--again, something at which Bush at all haven't been entirely successful.

The most important thing to do though, the only way to defeat the terrorists (as Steve H pointed out in the same thread), is not to succumb to terror. Not just figuratively but literally, we have nothing to fear but fear itself.