By Austin Anderholt | USA
Terrorism plagues our cities. Too often, I look down at my phone and see “5 killed in an (insert European City) terror attack.” In another time, this would be a catastrophic event. Hashtags would pop up like “#PrayForParis” or “#StandWithOrlando”. A multitude of Facebook posts would appear to mourn the loss of innocent life. The newspaper would report new information and details for the next few weeks. As more information was revealed, the President would make direct reference to the attack; “What happened was terrible.” Then, use the tragedy to push his leftist or rightist agenda. We might see photos online of a candle vigil for the victims. But nothing changes. Terror becomes more frequent and less relevant. Soon, we have someone like the mayor of London, who in 2016 said it’s “part and parcel of living in a big city.” Our “leaders” admit these soft targets will remain vulnerable and promise to bring the perpetrators to justice. But many of them have already died. Terror has become mainstream, as have the failed attempts to stop it. It’s the same mess over and over. Both parties blame each other. Nothing changes.
To understand how we stop terror, we must learn about its source. The United States is the lone superpower and we lead many nations in industry, technology, and energy production. Many politicians (of both sides) try to push the government role in the invasion of independent nations. They may claim it helps the economy or stops terrorism. Imagine this: China randomly bombs your hometown and kills thousands of innocent civilians. These are your friends, your family. These are babies, and loved ones. Now imagine that China’s justification was “to stop terrorists” Or “protect energy supplies.” This is EXACTLY what we’re doing in the Middle East. How would this make you feel? Would it make you despise China so much that you might feel like crashing a plane into Hong Kong? It did for many Arabs, and this right here is the mother of terrorism. These terrorists are murdering our families, because we’re murdering theirs. Their acts are disgusting, but we are not much better. You cannot destroy an ideology with military power alone. It’s like using a lawn mower to control dandelions.
Many religions have extremists that do not represent the mainstream. In Islam, they are Islamic extremists. Many terrorists attack the west in the name of Islam. Their goal is to inspire more Islamist attacks and punish the West for the attacks they suffer. No military response can destroy any extremist ideology with these tactics.
The libertarian argument is simple: pull out of the Middle east, let people practice their religion if they do so peacefully, and confront the extremists with overwhelming force. Anytime we topple a dictatorship, we create an opening for terrorist organizations. We may weaken terrorism and then strengthen a dictatorship. Cultural and religious wars have been common in the Mideast for centuries. We can only create power vacuums that lead to more terrorism. If we stopped inflicting “collateral damage” to civilians in the Mideast , it gives them less reason to attack America. If we stopped treating moderate Islam like a disease, they might hate us less! The first amendment guarantees freedom to ANY peaceful religion. This is America. If you want to practice any religion, you gosh darn should be able to, So long as you do so peacefully. The Libertarian Party is against terrorism, and will fight it by any means. However, when we violate the rights of the American people to their privacy, freedom to travel, and religion, the terrorists have won. We need to stop recording the data of private individuals. It’s invasive, and just plain unconstitutional!
The leftist and rightist views of terrorism are both wrong. On one hand, we can’t keep killing civilians, and on the other, we must preserve freedom of religion. Libertarianism is the only way. Terror will only stop when we minimize government intervention and maximize freedom.
- Wiener, Daniel. “How Do You Deal With Terrorists?” Libertarian Party, Libertarian Party, 12 Sept. 2011, www.lp.org/blogs-daniel-wiener-how-do-you-deal-with-terrorists/.
- Lemieux Professor of the Practice and Faculty Director of the Master’s in Applied Intelligence, Georgetown University, Frederic. “What is terrorism? What do terrorists want?” The Conversation, 24 Aug. 2017, theconversation.com/what-is-terrorism-what-do-terrorists-want-78228. Accessed 25 Aug. 2017.