Terrorists and tyrants know how to accomplish whatever it is they want to accomplish: Keep the oppressed stupid. Stupidity (and its cousin, Ignorance) are the best way to submit a population to unending fear, suppression and resignation. Hell, the U.S. has been more or less doing it to African Americans for a hundred and fifty years.
Check out the Taliban in Afghanistan. They were ruthless thugs who established a set of suppression rules (much like the English on the Irish 500 years ago) that allowed them to be judge and jury, a great way for those in power to wield it to their hearts’ content. It also guaranteed that there will always be a fresh supply of recruits to the cause as this is the only real way to go from suppressed to suppressor.
Check out the “civil uprising” in Iraq. Each group – Shi’ite, Sunni, El Queda – can perpetuate community fear and loathing by taking out the intelligentia and manipulating the emotions of the stupid and ignorant. Hence, the doctors and scientists get assassinated. Those lucky enough to escape do so, leaving behind an intelligence vacuum that takes a generation or more to repair.
With intelligence removed from the equation, decisions are made by whatever means are left: typically, emotions and brute force. Oppression is perpetuated in the same manner.
Now throw in readily-available weapons that have the ability to kill at fifty feet. That’s roughly ten times the radius that the Barbarians, with their swords, had. 10 times the kill radius covers 100 times the kill area. Today it takes far fewer Barbarians to oppress a population – and suppress any opposition to that oppression – than it did just 30 years ago, much less 300 years ago.
And that’s what we see in Iraq and Afghanistan. By eliminating the established controls that were already there, we have successfully helped put into place an anarchic culture that needs only a handful of nasty people to turn the entire country into a lost generation, a lost cause.
Someone please tell me how we helped either country.