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August 01, 2008



Does a bacterium’s cell wall, shape, way of moving, and environment really matter?

Eric Chen

Professor Nacos,

This fits the narrative of special-interest groups, and even individuals, who are becoming superempowered by terrorist methods tailored to a globalizing world. If anything, the news makes the broad-sounding "War on Terror" more apt as a label and our success more urgent.

In this war, defeating the methodology is as important as defeating the agent, because there are many different alienated people in the world with many different grievances against various local, regional, and world orders. Terrorism becomes much more dangerous to all of us if the methodology is commonly understood to be proven, accessible and effective to the range of alienated people, from the Cho Seung-Hui's, to the Ted Kaczynski's, to the Tim McVeigh's, to the Eric Rudolph's, to the (possibly) Dr Ivens' - just to point out a diverse set of motivated individuals in our society who've been attracted to terrorism.

Heck, maybe residual Ku Klux Klan remaining from the mid-20th century crackdown by the US government will even decide to school themselves on modern terrorism to revitalize their movement.

It is prudent for us to discredit the methodology as much as possible by identifying and diminishing the threat as posed by the likeliest, most-effective, and famous agents and purveyors, eg, al Qaeda and Saddam. In the course of the war, at the same time, it is also incumbent upon us to develop defensive, and more importantly, preventative measures to further discourage the use and spread of the methodology.

Not coincidentally, our mission in Iraq contains all the areas we need to succeed in our "War on Terror". It would help if the media would do more to highlight the failures of terrorists in Iraq together with our successes there, just to globally broadcast the discreditation and increase prevention of terrorism as attractive methodology.

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