Bullets, explosives and occupying forces are never going to provide the much-sought-after victory in the “War on Terrorism.” Violence begets violence (although munitions manufacturers would have us believe otherwise) and military suppression does not rid the world of a problem, it only exacerbates it, it only forces it underground where it festers and rises again and again. Anybody arguing otherwise has a product to sell and only has their eyes on (war) profits.
Ignorance is the most powerful political tool ever discovered (witness how well it is employed by religion and politicians). It not only fuels the motivations of those who are waging terrorist-type wars, it sadly also fuels its victims. It’s stunning to discover just how many American citizens think that their cities, their neighborhoods, or even their personal homes, are potential terrorist targets. When you discover that, you realize that the terror tactics have clearly succeeded, because it’s not the act itself that is the goal, it’s the fear that it evokes. How much easier is it to provoke that fear in the uneducated and uninformed than it is the educated? Vastly easier.
When you significantly reduce, or even remove, the potential for fear reactions in a population, you greatly reduce the effectiveness of terror/fear tactics (whether from “external” or “internal” manipulations). How do you achieve this goal? History has proven again and again that education reduces fear, prejudice and reactionary attitudes.
Of course, an ignorant population is easier to sway, easier to aim and fire for political and religious agendas. The very societies that foster and glorify such uneducated populations are the very same that spawn the religiously based terror organizations. An ignorant population is also easy to sway using the fear of fear, as has been the case in America for that 7 years.
Governments should fear their people, and an educated population is not only a direct threat to a government’s authority, it is also the only effective weapon against the tactics of terrorism. The educated cannot be swayed by the ignorant, manipulated by the political, or made to believe that which is not true.