There’s a better way to combat terrorist threats |

There’s a better way to combat terrorist threats

Here’s the president’s plan: get rid of Saddam Hussein (by assassination, if necessary); possibly attack Iraq to do it; and go all around the world to find and kill and al-Qaida network. Sounds simple, I think.

Consider this: What if Country X decided to go after terrorists organizations in the United States, seeing them as a threat to their national security. (What terrorist organizations, you ask? How about the Ku Klux Klan or the Aryan Nation, for starters. Let’s say they’ve gone international, they’ve burned mosques; and their secret headquarters are in the backcountry of Nevada County.)

First come the bombers. They take out Nevada County and Sacramento airports, then the reservoirs, then the bridges. They accidentally bomb a couple of villages (Cedar Ridge, Rough ‘n Ready) then finally close in on their main target XXXXville. But the terrorists have escaped to the hills. So Country X increases the bombing into the hills and surrounding areas. They accidentally bomb Sierra Memorial Hospital. By now our troops are shooting back and calling up our sons and daughters for battle. They are killed.

Does Country X destroy the terrorist organization? Only sort of. When it’s “over” do the residents of Nevada County patiently and without rancor begin the process of rebuilding our community, burying our dead, putting our by now chaotic lives back together? I don’t think so. Country X may have killed the enemy and feel safer for having done it – but thy have left a trail of rage behind; and far more enemies than they started with.

This crude hypothetical scenario will not happen here. But the U.S. has the military power to make it happen elsewhere. All of the death of innocents and destruction of communities which occurs wherever and whenever we attack is called “collateral damage,” “an unfortunate byproduct of war.” It looks like the scene I just painted. Imagine it.

The 9/11 attack was terrible. Is this any better? It sounds simple; but will it really rid the world of terrorism? Surely there’s a better way.

Janet Bullock

Nevada City

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