Bankrupting the corporation of terrorism
by, 02-08-12 at 08:39 PM (1027 Views)
Welcome to the N00B train, ladies and gentlemen.
The War on Terror. First of all, that's a bullshi*t concept. You don't launch a war on ambiguous nouns. There is no War on Drugs. No War on Poverty. And no War on Terror. Wars are fought against defined enemies with defined goals. Hell, we don't even have an agreed upon definition of terrorism, so how can we launch a war against it?
We have to start by really looking at what terrorism is. It's not simply disliking the United States. It isn't simply fighting the United States. While we may have been in war with Iraq's Republican Guard, they weren't terrorists. They were defending their nation. We don't even really refer to insurgents as terrorists. They're combatants in a war and they're fighting the United States. The Naz*is weren't terrorists. The Soviets weren't terrorists. The Confederates weren't terrorists. For similar reasons, we don't label it terrorism simply because violent acts are committed by Muslims. So we really have to get an idea of what terrorism is. Individual instances of violence can always be argued, but a loose definition off which I will base my argument is any act of violence committed against an institution with intent to cause chaos and instability. I think that's pretty basic and vague enough for everyone to agree with. For the purpose of this discussion, the institution in question will be the United States and other Western countries.
So how do we fight this? Terrorism and terrorists aren't a defined enemy. Sure we can look at instances of individuals intending to do harm to us, but the major issues arise when individuals collaborate to form organizations such as Al Qaeda. If we consider these terrorist organizations like we would corporations, then we can get a better understanding of how they function and how to limit their impact. The good/service that this terrorist corporation provides is an idea. The idea that action must be taken to better the lives of those being serviced by the organization.
Each of these organizations is set up much like a regular business would operate. At the top you have the leadership, the CEOs. This is the Osama Bin Lade/Khalid Sheikh Mohammed kind of person. These people are responsible for it all. They oversee what is going on. They lay down the plans for how things are going to work. They take a broad view on management. Lower down, they have people who specialize in areas. That specialty can be widespread recruiting, like we see with Anwar Al-Alwaki or technical knowledge which helps when planning attacks. Then there are the ground level employees. In the corporate world, they'd be number crunchers and pizza delivery boys. These are the countless Mohammads and Abdullahs who train terrorists and individual recruiters. They're peons who don't really matter. We kill them and the mid level managers find another individual to fill the entry level person to fill the void.
But corporations don't run on on their management and their low level employees. They run on consumers. There are two types of consumers in the world of corporate terrorism. The first type is the group we normally think of when we ponder terrorism. This is the hardcore consumer. The people who eat McDonald's three times a day or buy drink after drink in the same bar every night. These are the people who completely buy into the idea that Al Qaeda is selling them. The completely believe that the United States and the West is our to conquer the world and the only way to protect themselves is to topple the imperialist giants. These are the Mohammad Attas and Major General Hasans who actually carry out the attacks. They believe they are doing right. They look at the world around them and they listen to the Billy Mays-like pitch being aimed at them by Al Qaeda's advertisement team. To them, it's like a 3 am infomercial for the NuWave oven. They're already on the phone purchasing as much as possible.
However, there is a much more dangerous consumer. These are the masses of the Middle East. While they may never strap a bomb to their chest or fly a plane into a building, they still hear what is being said by Al Qaeda. They look around and see the same things that the hardcore consumers are seeing, but they don't buy as hard into the concept. They have the fiscal restraint to not order six snuggies simple because they got a bulk order when they used their credit card. That doesn't mean they're not interested in the product. It is this passive support that allows terrorism to flourish. It is these people who are comparable to the consumers who stop in now and again to pick up the product, but there are enough of them to keep the corporations big and powerful. These minor consumers keep the corporations in business. After the major consumers are done, they've maxed out their credit card, died of liver failure, or flown their last plane into a building, they're of no use to the corporation. The life long minor consumers keep the groups functioning.
So if we look at terrorism as a corporation, we must to see how corporations collapse to really understand how to topple terrorist corporations like Al Qaeda. Obviously, corporations cease to exist when they are no longer profitable. When they lose their consumer base because there is no longer any demand for their good/service. We have to make this idea that Al Qaeda is selling to their consumers invalid by replacing it with something new which is more desirable.
Right now, instead of eliminating the demand for the product Al Qaeda is offering, we're supporting it. Al Qaeda's advertisements portray the US and other western countries as imperialist, Muslim hating foes, hell bent on controlling the world and eradicating Islam and it's followers. So how do we respond to this accusation? We invade sovereign nations and kill innocent Muslims. We are increasing demand for their product rather than decreasing. No wonder terrorist attacks have skyrocketed since we instituted a strong presence in the Middle East.
We should be taking steps to dispel the myths off which Al Qaeda's sales pitch is based. We should be working with Muslims to better their countries and working against unfriendly leaders behind the curtains. We should work with the leaders to increase investment in infrastructure and private enterprise, while leading covert crusades against autocratic rulers who threaten to unravel our progress. Lessons can be taken from the Cold War. Propaganda blitzes such as the ones in Guatemala during PBSUCCESS encourage individuals to rise up through grass roots movements. Funding private projects and building up a capitalist base encourages Middle East prosperity to be directly tied to the global supply chain. There is a reason why we have not been attacked by Indian Muslims, despite the country having the second largest Muslim population. We are too closely tied to their well being. They do not benefit from harming us.
We are conducting this War on Terror by targeting the CEOs and board members. Those people can always be replaced. What really kills corporations is removing the demand from their product. What killed Polaroid was not the loss of a CEO, but the introduction and wide consumption of digital cameras. We need to introduce the sociopoltical ideology equivalent of the digital camera to the Middle East. We need to cut off demand by supplanting it with something that benefits us, rather than continuing on our current path of making Al Qaeda's product seem more attractive. We need to stop focusing on cutting the head off the snake because we will never get rid of people who want to do us harm. We need to focus on cutting the legs off the millipede so that head and body has no way of advancing.
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