The Dongola Times

(Anachronistic) Dispatches from the Kingdom of Makuria.
28th of September, 2013

Man of the Year: the Terrorist

Even before the attack on Kenya, I wanted to say that this year’s Man of the Year (as in TIME Man of the Year) should the Terrorist. I even wanted to suggest the cover image: the silhouette of an Afghan mujahid, complete with turban, toting a MANPADS. Terrifying silhouette to behold in that hallowed place, and yet I fear that it just may happen.

Then Kenya happened.

The issue is that the infrastructure of modernity has made it so even a stupid, weak, fragmented group of terrorists like Al-Shabaab can actually make the World think. As a military tactic, excellent; but the problem with terrorism is that it requires sin. You have got to shoot innocents; that stuff.
The excusable way to use terrorism is though the use only of the threat terrorism. I say “excusable” because apes will be apes, and if you are going to be politically-useful in your time, you are going to do the ape thing. Would that they all did the excusable thing.

So only using the threat of terrorism is justifiable. Soon, you run out of threats. To me, this should imply that you have failed, and you should take all the resulting consequences. But threats are promises, and they should never be empty. A promise must always be delivered on, and a threat is just a promise with certain subjective properties.

He who would love life and see good days,
Let him refrain his tongue from evil,
And his lips from speaking deceit.
Let him turn away from evil and do good;
Let him seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their prayers;
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.

So what would the threats be? They have to be carried out, and if the threat was not high-level (as in, a threat about the response to the threat), then it should all end after the threat is fulfilled.
If it is not over, repeat. For this reason, I think that I would respect the terrorists if they tok the time to compose a clear document, spell out their grievances and demands, and then have a very serious threat which they will surely carry out after their demands have not been met. With the Somali terrorists, nobody even knew what they wanted (except to kill), and they were explicitly uninterested in negotiations.

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous.