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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Osama bin Laden Has a Laptop - How Ironic

As the story goes, Osama bin Laden is hiding out in a cave somewhere with his laptop computer.  I doubt it.  The cave is a public relations gimmick.  More likely, he has all the amenities of home: indoor plumbing, temperature control, electricity.  I mean, look who he's fighting.  You can't beat the United States with AK-47s.  You need intelligence.  You need the Internet.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that a Russian software developer unwittingly helped Shiite fighters to gain access to video feeds from U.S. unmanned flights (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126102247889095011.html).  When your enemy is using technology, you must learn how to fight against it.  That means you will need to understand it and find ways to defeat the advantages it provides.

Here's the irony: the fundamentalists are fighting against modernity.  In other words, they fighting for a world that doesn't contain the very tools that they must use to defeat their enemy.  Well, welcome to the vortex.  There's no escape.  They're fighting a losing battle.

At the core of the fundamentalist battle is to hold onto a strictly patriarchal society in the face of increasing gender equality.  Put more succinctly, fundamentalists want to keep their women barefoot and in the kitchen.  Good luck with that. The cats are out of bag.  Ever tried to herd cats?  Fundamentalists want to go back to a simpler time when men were men and women were women.  Men made all the decisions for society and women raised families and cared for their husbands.  For most societies on the planet, that is but one choice of many.  Choice is freedom and everybody wants it.  Even fundamentalist women.  They may choose the traditional ways, but they'd like the opportunity to choose nonetheless.

So, our enemies fight on.  And, in the process, they become more like us every day.  One of these days, both sides will wake up and neither will remember what they were fighting about.  Maybe then we could talk of peace.  Unfortunately, memories last a long time and the urge to kill is still in our blood.
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