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Bomb scare exemplifies threat of senseless terrorism

Terrorism: What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Terrorism I despise because it means destruction of innocent lives. It ain’t nothing but a heartbreaker, friend only to the undertaker. It is an enemy to all mankind. The point of terrorism blows my mind.

Edwin Starr’s classic song “War” is a fitting soundtrack to the war on terror. Terrorism of any scale is reprehensible. Be it al-Qaeda’s global reach or a bomb threat called in to Ohio State’s campus, terrorism epitomizes the absolute worst of humanity.

While standing feet away from the Franklin County Sherriff’s Office Bomb Squad truck during the campus bomb threat last Tuesday — like the genius I am — it never occurred to me that the threat was anything more than a student’s ploy to skip a midterm exam. Luckily, the thought occurred to the myriad emergency services and public safety agencies that descended on campus that day, and my hat (gloves, scarf and coat) is off to them for the wonderful job they did to keep us safe and informed.

The goal of terrorism seems to be to destabilize and to induce — wait for it — terror. But to what ends? What cause does it help? I know there are groups that do not agree with how society is progressing, but is blowing people up really they way to redress these grievances? We can plead terrorists not to target innocent lives, but to those who see normalcy as the enemy, no one is innocent.

We know terrorists aim to inflict the maximum amount of carnage and grief using weapons strapped to people or sealed in an envelope. We know they find immeasurable joy in the immeasurable suffering of others. We know they are planning something else at all hours of the day. What we don’t know is who they are.

But we do know what we would like to do with them when we find them, right?

Trying them in court is not what I had in mind, but it seems to be the humane thing to do. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has defended the use of U.S. civilian courts to prosecute terror suspects held in Guantanamo Bay. I think that is one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard. What is the benefit of trying terrorists? Do ordinary citizens around the world get trial by jury before some moron decides to blow them up? And if they’re found to be innocent, do you really think they’re going to go back home and forget the luxury accommodations and spa treatment they received at Guantanamo Bay?

What is the going rate for a human life nowadays? Ten, 20 or even 30 years in prison? A bargain by any stripe. A prison sentence in and of itself is a slap in the face to justice. But I guess it is the humane thing to do, since humanity is the terrorists’ main concern.

Perhaps terrorism is something larger that I just cannot wrap my head around. Maybe I’m missing the link between terrorism and the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. It’s possible. Or maybe terrorism is just the worst: a cancer that historians in the future will look upon as a curable ailment and not a terminal disease. I’ll say it again y’all — Terrorism — what is it good for? Absolutely nothing.

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