In his book "Mein Kampf," Adolf Hitler once wrote that the means to win the easiest battle over reason is terror and force. Ninety years after that book was first published, it now appears those two words have become the driving force behind the fanatics that have perpetrated unspeakable acts of terrorism against humanity around the world.
Those who have served in the armed forces know firsthand the misery that terrorists can inflict. Many of our military men and women have returned from combat zones still bearing the emotional scars they sustained by witnessing these unspeakable acts.
The attacks this month against the people of Paris followed by the attacks against a hotel in Mali are the most recent examples where religious ideology has driven a desire to inflict terror and force to make innocent men, women and children bow to their will. The only "crime" that those killed and wounded in these attacks committed was they didn't follow the ideology these terrorists seem to support.
Following the attacks, I took time to read various reports submitted by different terrorism analysts on how to defeat the threat of global terrorism. Depending on their area of expertise, the options varied greatly.
If the analyst had a military background, for example, it was obvious that a military response was needed to, in effect, bomb terrorism back into the Dark Ages. In addition to stepping up our bombing campaign against Al Qaeda, ISIS and the other fanatical groups out there, they are pushing to put more boots on the ground to remove these terrorist groups from their safe havens and exterminate them one by one if necessary.
It's like an exterminator spraying for cockroaches. The spray might kill a few of them, but those who survive will come back often stronger.
The idea is to make it so the roaches don't want to return.
The analysts who understand the driving force behind radical Islam have indicated a different strategy and one that would take a great deal of cooperation and, more to the point, patience and time. It focuses on using pressure from within the Muslim world to turn its back against these terrorists that have corrupted their religion into something that it's not.
It would require every holy leader in the Muslim world to come together in unity and speak out against these terrorists and to emphasize that they are acting against God's or Allah's will.
To be honest, it seems that it'll take a number of different efforts all working in concert with one another if we ever want to destroy this form of terrorism once and for all. But if the free world can bring all of these strategies together and make them work, I believe that global terrorism will finally collapse in upon itself.
Bringing together the military might of different nations is the short-term solution to disrupt terrorist networks where they have found refuge. Eliminating their safe havens and driving them from their places of power would put them on the defensive and make it significantly harder to plan and conduct future operations.
Of course, that military option requires a coordinated approach from all nations of this planet. And therein lies the problem. Many nations want to commit forces to combat terrorism but others don't.
The same is true with uniting the Muslim world to renounce global terrorism. Following the attacks in Paris, a number of Muslims spoke out against the attacks, although I don't think that message was very loud.
The problem is that some -- but not all -- holy leaders in the Muslim world don't seem to have a problem with jihadists acting out against those who don't believe in the teachings of Islam. It seems that they are the ones that are helping fuel the terrorism problem in the first place.
What I'd like to see happen is every holy leader in the Muslim world come together with a single, unified message renouncing terrorism and to focus on the virtues of peace and harmony with all of mankind, regardless of whether they believe in God or view him from a different perspective.
After all, isn't God the one that will render his final judgement on each of us in the final days? Truth be told, I think he's in a better position to determine whether or not we followed his commandments and whether we deserve to join him in paradise.
That message needs to emphasize that those who choose to use terrorism in the name of jihad will be condemned to eternal damnation and not the paradise they seem to think they will inherit.
Perhaps the worst thing we could do is overreact. If we change our lives, alter our daily routines or live in a constant state of fear, the terrorists win. If we lash out against all Muslims and retaliate, the terrorists win. If we stay calm and stick to our normal way of life but remain more vigilant against suspicious behavior, then we win.
The other thing we need to consider is finding ways to isolate and contain the terrorist threat. One thing that comes to mind deals directly with the president's plan to allow tens of thousands of Syrian refugees into the United States without a lot of thought into ensuring those fleeing their country aren't the same ones that were causing the refugee situation in the first place.
After all, if we were given thousands of grapes to eat but were told that a few of them were poisonous and could kill us, wouldn't we want a way to tell the bad grapes from the good ones?
The Republican plan to put safeguards in place regarding the Syrian migration seemed like a logical solution but is fraught with problems. After all, if people can enter the United States illegally by crossing over from Mexico or Canada, any plans to use these screenings to single out the terrorists from actual refugees would simply prompt jihadists to find another way to get into our country.
Out of everything I've seen to date, there's just one thing I'd like to see happen. I want to see every television network, every newspaper and magazine and every social media site remove every picture and video showing these terrorists in action.
I've lost count of how many times I've seen the same B-roll footage of ISIS rolling through the streets of Iraq in the armored vehicles they stole with people in the streets seeming to cheer them on, which from my perspective is nothing but terrorist propaganda. What I'd like to see instead are videos of the same armored vehicles getting blown up by a Hellfire missile or a terrorist compound being erased off the planet during a massive airstrike.
In addition, anyone who commits acts of terror needs to have their name and face removed from all news coverage. Constantly posting their name and image on the nightly news makes them heroes in the eyes of those who idolize them and want to follow in their footsteps.
Once potential martyrs realize that they will have no legacy and their names will be permanently erased from history, then perhaps they might think twice before joining a terrorist group.
After all, they seem to understand they can use terror and force in hopes of inflicting their will against others. They just need an in-you-face reminder that terror and force can be used against them as well.
-- Brian S. Orban