Is there ever a time when dialogue is not the appropriate answer to aggression? I think the answer to that question is yes. But what about when the aggressor is a culture?
I think the response of Western governments to the recent terrorist actions in Mumbai will be insular. Strictures will become tighter. Our way of life will become more observed, more and more intruded upon. We will take it upon ourselves to cushion our way of life against violence by small groups of maniacs such as these, who munched on almonds while indiscriminately gunning down unarmed men, women, and children.
For these men, it was as simple as getting a few AK-47s and a boat and cruising into Mumbai harbor. How hard is it, even in America, to get an AK-47? As Walter from the Big Lebowski said, "You want a toe? I'll get you a toe." Anything is available.
Let me propose an alternative. I'm not saying that this solution is ideal, or exhaustive. It could be very, very wrong. But I'm not sure.
Let's find out where each one of these men came from. We have the technology. Let's go back to their village, or town, or city, and execute every person within three degrees of relation. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, uncles, etc. Repeat this action for every act of terrorism executed, anywhere, for any reason whatsoever.
Sound extreme? It is. It is very, very cruel. It borders on barbarism, and may even have passed the border into barbarism, driven a few hours and checked into a hotel in Barbaropolis.
We are dealing with barbarians. The alternatives that we face are equally chilling: retaliation or insulation. My fear is that the West, which has co-opted Christian principles and then promptly forgotten their roots, is unable to adapt to this challenge. We are like idiot savants who can only repeat the same actions without understanding their meaning. I don't think it is always good to be civilized. We could civilize our way into a stagnant and weak inactivity, or into an Orwellian observationist state that watches your every move.
Radical Islam, which is orthodox Islam, has declared war on the West. When your outposts (India) are being raided by savages who are killing your women and children, you are at war. The U.S. was in this situation as little as 200 years ago. And you know what we did? We wiped the Indians out. We destroyed whole villages.
What's our next move?