Don’t Be Terrorized
Recently it seems like there are terrorist attacks on a weekly basis, whether it’s here in the U.S. or somewhere else in the world. Most recently, there were the bombings in New York and New Jersey. There were also the stabbings in Minnesota. With all of these attacks, it is easy for us to get scared or worry about the possibility of being caught up in an attack ourselves. If we alter our daily lives because of this fear, however, we are letting the terrorists win.
You could fill a whole class with the different definitions, strategies and organizations of terrorism. In fact, these classes exist. If you are really interested in the topic of terrorism, I highly recommend taking POSC 4636 taught by Dr. Risa Brooks. I am currently taking this class. One of the most important lessons that I have taken away from this class is that the goal of terrorism is to terrorize citizens. Terrorists want to force citizens to act in a way that serves them. The strategy of terrorism rests in the use of coercive power. The goal is to cause chaos and fear in the population. The population, in turn, will put pressure on the target government to either act incompetently or overreact to the situation.
While it is totally acceptable to be horrified and saddened by the acts carried out by terrorists, we cannot let these emotions give way to fear. President Obama put it well in a statement about the bombings in New York and New Jersey. He stated, “We all have a role to play as citizens, by making sure we don’t succumb to fear. People in the region are tough and resilient.”
“They don’t get scared,” Obama continued. “That’s the kind of strength that makes me so proud to be an American. And, that’s the kind of strength that is going to be absolutely critical, not just in the days to come, but in the years to come.” We have to be like the people President Obama is describing. We have to be resilient.