Posted on April 23rd, 2019

Dr. Daya Hewapathirane 

The world renowned Israeli Professor Yuval Noah Harari, a historian, philosopher and author of the international bestsellers translated into 50+ languages and sold worldwide  with his book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” (2014) looking deep into our past, his second book  Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow” (2016) considering far-future scenarios, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century (2018)” zooming-in on the biggest questions the world is faced with at the present moment, commenting on counter terrorism says –

 If we want to fight terrorism effectively we must realise that nothing the terrorists do can defeat us. We are the only ones who can defeat ourselves, if we overreact in a misguided way to terrorist provocations.”  Terrorists function by capturing our imagination, turning our imagination against us, and causing us to overreact”.  In a way, a terrorist is like a fly that tries to destroy a china shop. The fly is so small and weak. It cannot move even a single teacup. So how does a fly destroy a china shop? The fly finds a bull, gets into the ear of the bull and starts buzzing. The bull becomes so enraged that it loses its temper and destroys the china shop. This is what happened in the middle east over the last 15 years”.  

Terrorism today has far greater political effect because people live in a far safer world. This may sound paradoxical, but it isn’t. For terrorism is a psychological weapon used by very weak parties. Terrorists lack the power to conquer countries and cities, so they stage a terrifying spectacle of violence that captures our imagination and turns it against us. By killing hundreds of people, terrorists cause hundreds of millions to fear for their lives, which often leads to overreaction, such as the US invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. Al-Qaeda could never destroy Iraq by itself. It got into the ear of the United States and the United States went wild and destroyed the middle eastern china shop for Al-Qaeda. This is how terrorism functions. And if you want to fight terrorism you should start with your own imagination.”

The most efficient answer to terrorism will be good intelligence and clandestine action or in other words, covert undercover action, against the networks of money that feed terrorism.

Dr. Daya Hewapathirane                                                                    

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