First sensible thing I’ve read from Andrew Bolt in a very long time:
IT’S time we realised most Islamist terrorists aren’t fiendishly clever killers in keffiyehs but laugh-out-loud bozos.
Quite right. Terrorists are not super villains – they’re just criminals. Their motivation for committing acts of violence is no better or worse than that of any other psychopath who commits acts of violence.
The question then is: why on earth can’t we just treat them like criminals who commit the same acts? Why do we need to invent special “terrorist” laws to deal with them differently? Why do we need to hype up the threat to the point where we achieve for them their aim of instilling fear?
Finally Bolt has realised a truth that was obvious to many of us a long time ago:
It might also help us to shame these madmen out of existence.
That’s right. Exaggerating their threat gives them an inflated sense of importance and quite probably motivates more impressionable young idiots to follow them. Treating them as ordinary criminals – or even as deranged mental patients who should be in padded cells – would undermine their credibility much more with those we’re trying to discourage from joining them.
Unfortunately Bolt can’t quite make it to the common sense conclusion – that the problem is the extreme anti-terrorist laws prompted by blind panic that are still in place, and still glamourising that which we should be treating with utter contempt.
Instead, his piece is whinging that courts, apparently surprised that these people are a “rag-tag collection of malcontents”, accordingly don’t think the super penalties available under the legislation justified by hyping them up as so much more are appropriate: Bolt wants these people shamed as bozos and THEN given the penalties designed for super villains, as if that contradiction makes any sense and is in any way sustainable.
But at least he, and possibly his readers, are beginning to see a glimmer of why the current approach doesn’t work.