Fundamental to wise societies is the enormous collective effort it takes to live out values, to face outward threats with rock-solid principles embedded in their inner core. Attacks against these societies, although they take lives, are battles over values. Each bomb blasted, bullet fired, car exploded, each person detonated is saying the values they represent are better/holier/higher. Force and death is intended to make targets retreat or respond in fear and abandon their values. Submission is an important element in terrorism. Submission wins not only through cowardice but also rage.
Rage is the same flawed response as the initial violence. Great societies die for the same values they live for. Breach these values and the internal decline of societies quickly occur. The violence of vengeance and retribution is not the path to safety, future greatness, and peace.
Violence increases its harm when it mirrors the acts and ideas it opposes. The challenge is a defense that protects values and guards life.
It begins with understanding. The violence we now see as terror is often thrill, violence for its own sake, carried forward under a brand rather than a belief. We move in the wrong direction if we focus on the terror and ignore the thrill. In violence, ISIL is the new Air Jordan. Outside of terror-specific violence, global violence is re-forming into independent mass events linked by a common impulse to kill.
Its end will require great skill.
Our Best Defense Against Terrorists http://nyti.ms/29LSIw2