Third Party & Independents Archives

Terrorists and Tantrums

Simple Lesson: When a child gets their way every time they throw a tantrum, the kid will continue to throw tantrums every time they do not like what’s going on.

Lesson Application: When you let terrorist groups think they can have you make policy changes to bribe them into not attacking your nation, they will continue to threaten your country when they do not like what you are doing.

Case in Point: A terror group just declared that because France has passed a law requiring wearing headscarves in schools, they will attack France until the National Assembly repeals this law. While the French law is a shameful violation of free exercise of religion, the bold statement by this group and the fact they believe that they can actually influence French policy shows the danger of taking steps like the Spanish did in their recent elections. Yes, terrorists are going to keep attacking no matter what (that’s what they do), kind of like kids will continue to throw tantrums. But the proper response is not to give the party what they want, but to give them disincentives to acting this way again. As long as terrorists think they can change policies they do not like because of threats of force, terrorism will be a “rational” option for people with a particular agenda.

Posted by Misha Tseytlin at March 19, 2004 12:34 AM