Anti-Terror Solution: Disunion!
Terrorist attacks are on the surface aimed at persons, buildings, and transit systems, but the fundamental target is the central government. Terrorists seek to strike fear among the population, but the ultimate aim is to change the policy of the government. Another motivation is revenge for perceived grievances caused by the government.
by Fred E. Foldvary, Senior Editor
If the government changes its policy in response to terror, this is a win for terrorism, and fuels future terror. Governments could do the opposite, such as increasing and intensifying their existing policies to show that the terror is counterproductive. This can be dangerous, however, because it can become a game like poker where both sides keep raising the ante. The terrorists strike back even harder, the government sends in more troops, and the cycle escalates into ever greater revenge and counter-revenge.
Since state governments are the targets of the terrorists, the ultimate antidote is to make the target as tiny as possible. Disassemble the states.
The terrorists have struck the London transit system to send a message to the British government. But suppose the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland split apart. Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, and England would become independent countries. There would still be a UK, but it would only consist of the parliament building and grounds in London plus the palaces of the monarchy. It’s name would be shortened to “United Kingdom.” The dominions could have a treaty with the UK by which they could agree to continue to use UK laws, if they wished to, but each dominion would be an independent country with its own foreign policy. The UK army would consist of volunteers from the treaty countries, but Wales, for example, would have a foreign policy independent of the UK.
Suppose the USA also fell apart. Each state (and each Indian nation which chose to do so) would become an independent country, with its own foreign policy. The USA would consist of the District of Columbia and its territories, such as Guam. Californians, for example, would no longer be responsible for the US policy in Iraq, although Californians could individually volunteer to be in the coalition army in Iraq. There would be a treaty among the 50 states with the USA for mutual defense, so the states would not need their own militaries. But defense is one thing, and foreign policy is another.
I previously wrote on The Cost of Being the USA: “Staying together as one country needs to be recognized as having an implicit but real cost, the cost of the terrorist threat that would not exist if the states seceded.” If the USA and the UK split apart into many independent countries, this would confuse the terrorists, if the secession had substance.
Several countries have split apart already. The old USSR was split into independent republics on December 8, 1991. Czechoslovakia split into the Czech and Slovak republics. Yugoslavia is now several independent countries. What I am proposing is a bit different, as the country’s government would continue to exist, but only in a much reduced territory, such as what once was the “ten miles square” in the USA, the District of Columbia.
Terrorists have now struck hotels in Egypt. But suppose the Sinai were an independent country, which did not host foreign chiefs of state at Sharm El Sheikh. The terrorists would have been much less likely to strike. Their aim is not tourists as such but the government that depends on tourist revenue.
Suppose Chechnya had become independent in 1991. Would the Chechens rebels still be hitting Russia? There would be little reason to do so.
Suppose Israel split into several independent countries, only one of which held power in Judea and Samaria and Gaza. Would the terrorists strike the Republic of Haifa? Maybe, but much less likely, especially if the Israelis in Judea and Samaria also became an independent country.
Terrorism is going to be with us for many decades to come, and their targets are ultimately the governments of states that are perceived, rightly or wrongly, to impose their domination on others. The root cause of terrorism is not any grievance or policy, but the ideology of supremacism. The terrorists think they are superior to everyone else, and can therefore impose their will by force. But they too are reacting to what they perceive as unjust supremacism by the targeted governments.
Not just terrorists, but most ordinary folks are supremacist, since they back the supremacist policies of their governments, imposing master-slave relationships, forcing laws and costs on unwilling peaceful persons. We need a global ideological shift to recognize a deeper human equality than simply equal voting rights or religious freedom. The ultimate anti-supremacist ideology is the recognition of absolute, thorough, and total human equality, the equal moral right of each person to individual sovereignty.
But until that shift, we can at least make the territorial targets of terror as tiny as possible. Make the territory of the central government ten miles square. If the aim of terrorism is political change, and the political agent only has a tiny land jurisdiction, this will perplex the terrorists while making the government territory much easier to defend.
In an age of terrorism, big central governments are obsolete. They are, as lawyers would say, an attractive nuisance. Dissolve the unions. Nobody has yet attacked Monaco or Liechtenstein.
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