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Should these murderers seek vengeance for the defeat of bin Laden, however, they will only hasten their own certain demise.
That, of course, will probably not deter them. We can probably expect to be the victims of their desire for payback — what the spooks at Langley call “blowback.”
All of this comes out of a divergence of world views. Here in the West we try to live and let live. Believe what you must; we’ll defend your right to your beliefs as long as they threaten no one.
That’s heresy to the fanatics who worship at the altar of violence, who insist that their warped view of the world, and the role that one’s religion plays in it, demands violence against its non-believers.
Once upon a time, failure to get in step with the prevailing religious views of the moment could get you burned at the stake, as St. Joan of Arc learned the hard way.
The al-Qaida bunch still adheres to that peculiar form of religiosity. Do it their way, or die. It has yet to be demonstrated to them that the overwhelming majority of the world’s people reject that proposition. They have not understood that they cannot enforce their beliefs by killing those who reject them. There are simply too many of us, and too few of them.
Their late leader never understood that fact. Like all fanatics, he thought that violence in defense of their beliefs would eventually win the day. He learned the fallacy of that conviction the hard way, with a couple of slugs made in the USA in his fevered brain.
This war is not over. There are still rounds to go in this battle against the proponents of violence as a means of enforcing an extreme form of religious intolerance. But as this most recent development in that battle proves, violence is the losing side.
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