(a Hydra-headed cartel of criminality)

The recent series of terror attacks in different parts of the world…Paris, Brussels, Lahore, Ankara, Abidjan, and ben Bardane…are the latest manifestations of what can only be described as a criminally inspired mental disease.

Because those who carried out these attacks proclaimed adherence to the Islamic faith we’ve, perhaps mistakenly, labeled these as “jihadists” acting with extreme zealotry for that faith. But such attacks have nothing to do with religion, or extreme zealotry for it. Jihadism is simply a Hydra-headed cartel of criminality using religion as a weapon to achieve its own ends.

In many ways this “cartel” resembles that of other similarly structured criminal enterprises, such as the Cosa Nostra and the Drug Lords of today. That is, it is composed of more or less autonomous “crime families”, each with its own territory and objectives, yet, loosely connected to each other by the banner of religion, for mutual support and coordination when necessary. Whatever we call them…al Qaeda…the Taliban…ISIS… BokaHaram… and others…they all have the same strategy of terror using mass murder, rape, and pillage, as an extreme form of psychological warfare, the intent of which is to cause a paralysis of will to either resist or mount effective counter-measures against them.

Ironically, the fountain head for this brain-washing mechanism needed to motivate those who mount such terror attacks is none other than our erstwhile “ally”…the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which was founded upon the extreme Wahabi interpretations of Islam, with its medieval perspectives about the rest of the world in general, and the Western World in particular. Those Wahabi-driven perspectives are derived from the historical record of conflict with that world as far back as the 13th Century, and the time of the Crusades (ignoring the fact, of course, that these were mostly a defensive reactions to Islamic invasions which had swept across not only North Africa through Spain and into southern France, but also across the Middle East through Anatolia, Greece and the Balkans, right up to the gates of Vienna, Austria. Granted, all of that was mostly a tit-for-tat centuries long period of mutual revenge, during which the balance of power between these two conflicting Christian and Islamic cultures has see-sawed back and forth between them, right into the modern era.

So what we have today is not just an extension of that conflict. It is simply an internationally organized criminal enterprise which, like any other organized criminal one, seeks to have the power to acquire as much loot as it can…as massively as it can. Its cynical and hypocritical use of “religion” is just camouflage to cover its aims for that end.

If the rest of the world is to mount any kind of effective counter-measures against those criminal aims, then it will have to approach the problem on a multi-level basis, not just by military actions and extraordinary security measures. It will have to match the sophistication of its propaganda, especially where it concerns those demographics of unassimilated, unemployed, and morose youths, imbedded in its societies. More importantly, it must also somehow motivate all those who have emigrated to, or sought refuge in the Western World, that it is in their own self-interest to intervene against those who would join such criminal entities. That is, with some sort of “carrot” or “stick” approach, with the “carrot” being offers of financial rewards for turning in such individuals within their communities, and the “stick” being possible expulsion back to the Islamic matrix from which they fled…if they don’t.

Another level is the need for much stronger and better internationally coordinated cyber-war efforts, particularly as it relates to internet and social media activities. Such efforts will prove much more effective in eliminating their capacity to organize terror attacks. Concurrently, appropriate means of restricting their ability to travel to and from areas where such entities operate or have training facilities will also be a more effective counter for preventing terror activities.

These are some of the counter measures the rest of the world may have to apply if it is to eliminate this kind of criminally inspired mental disease. But we also have to face the fact that those who are using it are not just rejecting our system of values, as free and open societies, but are determined to replace them by imposing their own values of theocratic authoritarianism.

But the real danger we face, in the process of defending ourselves and our values, is if we allow the means we use to inevitably transform us into adapting…theirs…and that… is the most insidious aspect of their continued attacks against us.