Thursday, September 28, 2006

Cure The Cancer of Terrorism

It seems clear to most people by now that our administration's policy to defeat terrorism has not had the desired outcome. As I write this, terrorism, sympathies for fanatic fundamentalism, deaths in the mideast are all on the rise. We haven't had another attack in the US yet but no one believes we are immune to one, that we are really safer today.

Administration policy is based essentially on an attitude that the only thing terrorists understand is brute force and they must learn that America won't stop until they change or they are all dead. Unfortunately, our efforts likely have created more terrorists. It sounds to me a lot like a failed treatment for cancer.

As we all know, cancer is a tumor that can grow uncontrollably, can invade surrounding tissue, and can spread to healthy parts of the body. Left untreated it will ultimately kill. We acknowledge that the best solution is prevention, but once discovered, what is the best way to treat it?

There are many kinds of cancer and good doctors understand that the best treatment must be tailored to the specific tumor. Terrorism is like a tumor with poorly defined borders that has begun to spread and invade. Our leaders appear to believe they can cure any cancer by hunting down and cutting out all the cancer cells, like a surgeon run amok. Doctors know that this naive and simplistic approach would most likely spread the cancer even faster, not cure the patient.

For a patient to have a chance for survival, this cancer needs to be deprived of its blood supply, the nutrients on which it depends to grow and spread its death. The patient might undergo the partial removal of the most diseased tissue but if the blood supply to the tumor can be cut off, if the patient stops activities that encourage more cancer, such as smoking, toxic food etc. and works to rebuild the body's immune system, the chances for survival are vastly improved.

Terrorism's revenue source, its 'blood supply', arguably is oil. If we are serious about removing terrorism's malignant threat we must do the smart thing and cut off this revenue source. As we did in WWII, we will need to make sacrifices, we will have to endure limited supplies of oil and increased energy costs, we will have to conserve energy, and embark on a crash program to develop alternative fuels. With the right leadership, we can do it.

Our current leadership's suggested treatment? Ignore the 'cancer', don't let them think they've won, blow smoke in their face, go to the mall, shop.

What we need are leaders who learn from mistakes, leaders who can inspire, leaders who can think, leaders who can lead.

But maybe that's just me.