The Corner

National Security & Defense

How to Deter Terrorists: Aim, Shoot, Jeer

In response to Ask Gonzales About Judicial Nominations

When Donald Rumsfeld was secretary of defense, the Pentagon at one point examined the question of whether it was really true that because terrorists are suicidal, they can’t be deterred. My own answer to that question is that terrorists can be deterred — if they know in advance that they’ll just be pointlessly blowing themselves up against a brick wall (or pointlessly driving into a hail of bullets, as in Texas Sunday night) to no effect whatsoever other than to entertain their mortal enemies.

Well, last night a couple of wannabe martyrs got themselves killed, and today lots of Texans are walking around smiling proudly, because “​We Shoot Back.

It’s times that like these one almost feels sorry for Mohammed. As he once said (at least according to my favorite Charlie Hebdo cartoon), It’s hard to be loved by fools.

Mario Loyola — Mr. Loyola, a former White House speechwriter and environmental adviser, is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

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