Sunday, June 13, 2010


Christine Fair and Daniel Byman make the case for calling today's terrorists idiots in The Atlantic:

To be sure, some terrorists are steely and skilled—people like Mohamed Atta, the careful and well-trained head of the 9/11 hijackers. Their leaders and recruiters can be lethally subtle and manipulative, but the quiet truth is that many of the deluded foot soldiers are foolish and untrained, perhaps even untrainable. Acknowledging this fact could help us tailor our counterterrorism priorities—and publicizing it could help us erode the powerful images of strength and piety that terrorists rely on for recruiting and funding.

I totally agree. After the Captain Underpants and the Failbomber, the proper response was not hysteria, recriminations, fear-mongering and finger-pointing. Rather, it was to mock the ineptitude of the "terrorists" that the Taliban and Al Qaeda have been able to recruit. Elevating them gives them more credit and legitimacy than they deserve. They're common murderers, and incompetent ones at that. Let's treat them like it.

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