To stop terrorism, don’t terrorize others

This is regarding the Sept. 16 editorial “Terrorism must end,” and the conclusion that “Surely, there is some way to end the vicious cycle.” Between these two noble thoughts lay such tragedy.

The editorial described the U.S. strategy against terrorism for the past decade as primarily defensive, a very disingenuous representation of the facts. Extensive military operations have been carried out, in multiple countries, on some shaky-at-best evidence. Tragic loss of American life, as itemized in the editorial, has occurred; however, I would remind the editor that so many bystanders have been killed by U.S. operations, the term “enemy combatant” had to be redefined just to save face. There are places in the world where people live with a shadow of “Freedom” being dropped from an unmanned aerial vehicle at any moment.

I also would remind the editor the U.S. has proactively developed the largest intelligence gathering system in history, which seems indiscriminately aimed at everyone, everywhere, all the time. That isn’t enough offense?

Is the editor advocating for more invasions, leading to more violence, in the name of justice? Is the editor advocating for a greater surveillance state, leading to less privacy, in the name of liberty? What a world that would be.

Finally, I will remind the editor what terrorism is: the use, or threat, of violence to advance a political agenda. Editorials such as that one, advocating a more offensive approach, do nothing but promote a different flavor of terrorism-the kind directed at other people.

If you want to stop the cycle of terrorism, maybe think about how to stop terrorizing other people.