The point of terrorism is to cause terror, sometimes to further a political goal and sometimes out of sheer hatred. The people terrorists kill are not the targets; they are collateral damage. And blowing up planes, trains, markets or buses is not the goal; those are just tactics.
The real targets of terrorism are the rest of us: the billions of us who are not killed but are terrorized because of the killing. The real point of terrorism is not the act itself, but our reaction to the act.
And we’re doing exactly what the terrorists want.
It needs saying loudly and often. In fact, I said something similar in 2003-
I’ve got a proposal. Let’s not buy bottled water, unless it’s French. Let’s not stock up on tinned food, but go out and buy fresh fruit and meat- organic if possible- from a local shop. Let’s get back to using
ductGaffer tape as it was intended, for the urban equivalent of a baler twine bodge. Simply, let’s ignore all these calls for us to be afraid.
I live with terror as it is. I’m scared of the actions of my fellow coutrymen, and occasionally women, because of the way they drive. It’s not a normal commute if no-one tries to kill me. But at least my fears have some grounding. Compared to the threats of everyday life, the statistical chance of you, me or anyone we know being harmed by terrorist action is infinitesimal. It was tiny before this war began and- even though this action to make us safer has had the opposite effect- it’s still tiny now.