|Now that appeasement is back in vogue, the post-9/11 notion that we must "understand" the terrorists - their unique motivations, their sad backgrounds - has re-emerged among the talking heads and diplomatic elites. The presumption is that such understanding will grant us insight and empathy, confirming our inherent similarities and bringing us reconciliation, compromise and resolution. The terrorists are merely aggrieved - not evil. Therefore, they are eminently capable of negotiation.
Is it not strange that the victims are pleading for reconciliation, thereby donating their victimization to the perpetrators? 1
Is not every citizen of the world-six billion plus people-in some way aggrieved, at some stage denied justice? What then separates these six billion aggrieved from the tens of thousands of active Jihadists, suicide bombers and terrorists? 2
Those who support negotiation won't consider this remarkable statistic: that of six billion citizens versus only tens of thousands terrorists. If they did they would have to conclude that an overwhelming proportion of the world's inhabitants choose non-violent methods of redress. I dare say that the victims of the Holocaust, those raped in Darfur, those with limbs chopped off in the Congo, those women stoned in Iran, those imprisoned in dictatorships, are all infinitely more deserving of aggressive redress, of violent redemption, than those who bridle at America's presence (or its Jewish proxy) in the Middle East.
Surely, then, the methods of redress chosen ultimately define the difference between human and inhuman, between, civilized and uncivilized, between fallibility and negligence.
Indeed, it is in those methods that the chasm between the terrorists and us is evinced - a chasm that cannot be spanned by negotiation. When one chooses very specifically to bomb a children's school, a hospital, a pizzeria, a wedding - despite plenty of military targets, governmental installations, and police stations - then methods reveal character, and there is no similarity between them and us. It is then that those apologizing for terrorists, those advocating unremitting negotiations, are providing support for terrorism itself.Wittingly or unwittingly, they are undermining the defenses civilized societies must build to secure their survival. 3For all their emphasis on the terrorists' motivations, by ignoring their methods the appeasers' self-proclaimed 'understanding' is in fact far from it. After all,
"We are not fighting so that you will offer us something," said Hussein Massawi, a former leader of Hezbollah.
"We are fighting to eliminate you."