Study motive to prevent future attacks
Published: Monday, October 1, 2001
Updated: Saturday, June 16, 2012 00:06
In his Sept. 27 column for World Net Daily, “I don’t understand,” Bill O’Reilly of the Fox News channel explains why we should not attempt to understand terrorists and people who attack America. O’Reilly explains it would be a colossal mistake to try to understand those who plan and execute such evil events. On the contrary, it is actually a mistake to fail to study these individuals.
Thousands of children said good-bye to their mommies and daddies for the last time on the morning of Sept. 11. These children are now orphans. Of course, this is what the heart of the attacks on America is all about.
But should we not also make every effort to understand why the people who committed these atrocities did so?
By failing to study the reasons why people act as they do, we are also advocating that it is acceptable to no longer study the history of great kingdoms, of influential individuals, of wars fought and the gains and losses associated with those battles, or of history in general. History teaches us about the present, and our studies of history affect how we approach the future.
By not studying the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, how are we to come to understand why they occurred? If we are unable to determine why they occurred, how can we expect to prevent similar acts of terror in the future?
O’Reilly said he believes Gen. George Patton did not try to understand the Germans he captured.
Perhaps Patton was not studying the mindset of every German as he lead the Third Army to victory. But Patton studied many great military leaders, and readily explored their thinking and their decision making processes.
Patton was able to quote the likes of Caesar, Napoleon and Clausewitz by heart. In fact, Patton believed there were no new battles to be fought, as all battles had taken place in some form throughout history — only new technology could alter the execution of a battle.
Patton’s intense study of military history can be credited for his courage in battle, his gift as a strategist, his inspirational communication, his masterful motivational skills and his brilliance as a leader.
The terrorists responsible for organizing the attacks on the United States should not be offered an opportunity to negotiate or to be appeased. These people are evil, and they only deserve death and destruction. However, in order to prevent future attacks, it is necessary to understand the motivations and thoughts of such people so that perhaps attempts can be made to thwart such horror from occurring again on American soil.
But we must also remember that the evil people who commit these atrocities have their own reasons for doing so. Through attempting to understand why they act as they do, perhaps we have an opportunity to prevent similar devastation in the future.
Sara Marie Eichenberger, the voice of realism, is majoring in International Political Science and Military/Diplomatic History. She can be reached at email@example.com.