Saturday, June 17, 2017

Terrorists Are Cowards. Don’t Let Anyone Tell You Otherwise

We shouldn't confuse audacity with bravery. Terrorism has long been a preferred military tactic for the weak and the desperate.
The Islamic State has been backed into a corner. Its Syrian stronghold is teetering as money, soldiers, and territory all dwindle. Mosul’s days are numbered. Raqqa is the next target. When these pillars of the ISIS ‘caliphate’ fall, its prestige will also take a nosedive. But, as the recent attacks in London show, jihadists have no intention of going gently into the good night. Their atrocities have pushed us back into an old debate: Is terrorism cowardly?
Gerard Vowels, the hero of London Bridge, has this one right. Terrorists are cowards. It makes no difference that they suffer and die for things they truly believe. When a man takes special pains to savage the weak and helpless, that is an intrinsically cowardly act, regardless of the personal price he may pay for his cowardly actions.
Audacious Acts Aren’t Automatically Virtuous
That terrorism is not courageous can be easily established. As Aristotle explains in the “Nicomachean Ethics,” the courageous man stands fast in the face of danger for the sake of what is good. Since the killing of innocents is a grave moral evil, it clearly cannot be courageous. Anyone inclined to quibble with this is simply confused about the nature of virtue. Risk-takers of all sorts may impress us, but of course we appreciate that people may court danger for any number of reasons. They might be drunk or on a drug-induced high. They might be overwhelmed by rage, hatred, or lust. Self-destructive behavior often has deep and complex psychological roots, but audacious acts are not per se virtuous. That is why we do not honor the criminal mastermind or the reckless drunk. --->
Read the rest of this op-ed from The Federalist HERE.

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