Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Method Worth Consideration: "Muslims" or "Terrorists"?

Although this was pointed out in "The Path to 9/11" (the incident at the Vancouver/Seattle border) P-Mac cites a more credible and practiced authority:

Good story in the Jerusalem Post about some Israeli security guys saying that most countries have it all wrong: Banning box cutters or checking shoes presumes that you’re up against weapons carried by terrorists.

“The Western concept of searching for weapons is fundamentally flawed,” the paper quotes Shabtai Shoval, president and founder of Suspect Detection Systems in Tel Aviv. “If a person has the intention to carry out an attack, then the means is secondary. Someone who wants to carry out an attack will figure out a way to do it, whether it's with one thing or with another. The person is what is important; the weapon is marginal. In fact, the person is the weapon!”

Later, P-Mac frets a tiny bit:

...The methods are pushy and invasive: Israel prescreens passengers before they get to the airport, and everyone is interviewed by security agents. Aside from whether that works on American-style passenger volumes, it might clash with our more libertarian view toward government prying.

This begs a larger question: Who is "the enemy"?

Those on the Right have pointed out that most terror incidents over the last 20 years have been carried out by Muslim males aged 20-40. This is correct, of course. And for a variety of reasons, others have joined in pointing out the "Muslim" proper adjective--loudly, and often.

But as another matter of fact (less emphasized,) there are perhaps 10,000 terrorists who actually have carried out attacks--and that includes their mentors, logistical-supporters, and financiers. Even counting the irregular "armies" (really, large posses) it would be difficult to come up with more than 250,000 Muhajedeen worldwide.

So with a worldwide Muslim population in the several-hundred-million range, this is an infinitesimal count.

Thus, identifying "the enemy" simply cannot be reduced to "Muslim"--while at the same time, it is true that the perpetrators ARE "Muslim."

That presents a conundrum. Our President has generally failed to draw these lines clearly--but then, so has the Press and the Left, who have generally attempted to airbrush "Muslim" OUT of the definition--which simply flies in the face of experience.

So why point to the P-Mac blog? Simple. The Israelis define terrorist suspects by behavior and traits. And they are damn successful. El-Al does not HAVE a 'terrorist' problem.

Besides, this methodology comports better with the Western (Judeao-Christian) sense of justice, which is generally very uncomfortable with defining an evil person by affiliation.

More intrusive? Maybe. Contra "libertarianism"? So what? It is Conservative.

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