A little while ago, I finally got fed up with a certain troll around these parts and pulled his plug. He didn’t appreciate it, and sent me a scathing e-mail. He pronounced that I was a coward for doing so, and I had shredded whatever little respect he had for me.
I felt a twinge guilty at first, but then I thought about it some more. And I realized he was lying.
This particular troll had never had a kind word (or, for that matter, a kind thought) for me or anyone else except his fellow trolls. He was filled with venom and vitriol for everyone, a cornucopia of abuse. Nothing anyone said or did had any effect on his tirades. It was after a final bout of bile that I finally pulled his plug.
And I haven’t heard from him since. Maybe he’s given up commenting on blogs, maybe he’s changed his name, maybe he’s started his own little blog. Regardless, good riddance.
But his proclamation that my banning him had cost me the last shreds of his respect for me struck a chord.
Every time we (or one of our allies) takes a forceful, decisive action against terrorists, we are immediately assailed with dire predictions that we are “playing into their hands,” that we are just “making more terrorists,” that we are “losing respect and credibility around the world.”
I noted a long time ago that the world tends to only like America when we’re on our knees. as long as we’re reeling from an attack or begging for their forgiveness and tolerance, we’re one of the most-liked nations on earth.
But the instant we got off our knees and started hitting back, we immediately started “throwing away” all that good will. Our invasion of Afghanistan started the cries of “we’re just creating more terrorists,” and every single action we or our allies have taken has generated more and more dire predictions of that.
I’ve given it a lot of thought, and I’ve come to two conclusions:
1) Those saying that are full of crap. (No offense, Lair.) I simply don’t accept that confronting terrorism and terrorist-sponsoring nations causes more terrorism. Historically, just the opposite has proven true: failing to respond forcefully has encouraged more attacks. Witness Al Qaeda’s gradually-escalating attacks, starting in 1993 with the first World Trade Center bombing and peaking in the 9/11 attacks. Since then, they’ve tried numerous more attacks, but have never come close to reaching that high point.
2) Even if what they are saying is true, I simply don’t care. A wise man once said “I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees.” Another said it’s better to be damned for doing than damned for inaction.
We’re creating more martyrs, they say. And I say “big deal.” There have been millions of martyrs created over the millenia. I can recall exactly three martyrs whose deaths actually made tremendous advances for their causes — Christ, Gandhi, and King. And I see very few similarities between those three men and dead terrorists.
If by killing 10 terrrorists we create 20, then we’ll kill those 20, too. Then we’ll kill the next 40. And so on. And so on. The instant we stop, they’ll stop trying to kill us abroad and work on killing us at home. Right now, they’re trying to kill those of us — our armed services — who are best equipped, trained, and prepared to defend themselves and make their attackers pay a bloody price.
And American bullets are cheaper than American lives. I’m willing to bet they’ll run out of martyrs before we run out of ammunition.
Because that’s a bet we really can’t afford to lose.