Swickard: Hardening America's soft targets

© 2015 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. "As George Orwell pointed out, people sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." Richard Grenier
             We live in a violent world and as the above quote proclaims we are either the people defending ourselves with violence or we are made safe by rough people doing violence on our behalf. Sometimes we are not at the wrong place at the wrong time, but sometimes we are.
            Worldwide terrorists intend to create terror in our hearts with violence. Again we are only safe from terrorists when rough people do violence on our behalf in neutralizing those of evil intent.
            The terrorist attacks we have seen this year and especially in the last weeks have one message for Americans: soft targets are attractive to people who wish to harm Americans. America like Europe is full of soft targets. How can we harden our soft targets?
            The definition of a soft target is a place where the people do not have a robust active defense. Examples are public schools and community areas. They are especially Gun Free Zones where citizens are prohibited from having a gun for defense. A lack of defense is very attractive to people who are going to break the law anyway.
            To people who only have seconds to live, the police will be there in minutes. The attackers assume being able to shoot unarmed citizens is good. Occasionally attackers will strike and an off-duty policeman will end the attack because he or she is armed which the attacker did not know.
            As I point out often to the opponents of having citizens be allowed a robust defense, the very nature of not having a defense is what motivates some attackers. It is not often that attackers decide to shoot up a police station. That doesn't end well for the attackers and they know it.
            The hallmark of soft targets is that none of the victims can shoot back. All they can do is ask for mercy as the terrorists kill them. It does not seem terrorists are deep into mercy.
            So terrorists seek soft targets because it is far easier to achieve their goals. That doesn't preclude that once in a while a high value target will have armed resistance. It means that armed resistance is the only way that the terrorists can be defeated and the helpless victims might survive.
            The goal to defeat attackers who hit soft targets is to not make the defense easily identifiable. When Sky Marshalls were put on commercial airplanes incognito skyjackers did not know if the plane had a defender and more importantly, if the skyjacker was going to get their head blown off. That discouraged rational skyjackers.
            That is the only real defense for our soft targets: the defense must be such that people of ill intent cannot spot the defense but they know it probably will be there and active. There is not easy defense when attackers are very motivated. Having someone with a gun standing there does not always work because the person showing a gun may be the first one attacked.
            But in the audience at the music hall in Paris the attackers had no one opposing them until the police arrived much too late to save many of the victims. If at the moment of attack the terrorists were summarily shot by citizens, it might have saved many victims.
            There is a great truth in a false quote that is repeated often by historians of World War Two. Probably the best military man of Japan, Admiral Isoroko Yamamoto studied at Harvard University and was part of a delegation that visited the U. S. Naval War College. He spoke English well.
            A false Yamamoto quote often repeated: "You cannot invade the mainland United State. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass." No, he didn't say it. But it is good advice to terrorists. In America there might be a rifle behind every blade of grass so leave us alone.
            That will discourage or dispatch attackers. It is only by an active robust defense can we have any hope of being safe here in America.

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Defend everything, except the civilian population

Some of our best friends and family members are D’s and R’s. To be a loyal Republican or Democrat party loyalty expects you to defend practices, political tactics, and policies that are moronic. However, being a loyal American should mean you never defend anything you know to be stupid.

Sadly, there is a shortage of Americans who dislike morons. In particular, Democrats now find themselves in the untenable position of defending stupidity at almost every turn.

Here is a short list of the things Democrats defend as a matter of routine:


  • They actually defend Obama when he says global warming (he calls it climate change now that the data shows the earth is not warming) is the greatest threat to the world.
  • They defend Obama when he refuses to enforce border controls in an era where loose borders are causing mass murderers to set up shop in Europe and butcher innocent people.
  • They defend Obama’s latest declared intention to allow tens of thousands of Syrian Muslims into the U.S. despite the danger that there will be many radicalized killers in their ranks.
  • They defend Obama when he makes an absurd agreement with Iran, a country with a Parliament that chants, “Death to America” on the floor.
  • They defend Obama when just hours before ISIS engineered the butchering of more than a hundred people in Paris, he said ISIS had been "contained” and also asserted that the terror cell had been stalled in Iraq and Syria.
  • They defend Obama’s repeated calls for gun control and his citing of places like France as an example of how much more safe it is, thanks to guns being illegal there. Of course with some of the strictest gun controls on earth (France) more than a hundred unarmed law abiding citizens were shot to death in cold blood by people who somehow dared to violate gun control laws in a nation without a 2nd Amendment.
  • They defend the borrowing of more money by the federal government under Obama than all the previous presidents combined.
  • They defend an economy where more people than ever before depend on the government for food stamps.
  • They defend an Obama economy that has more able-bodied adults not working than ever before.
  • They defend Obamacare despite the fact that people like my wife and I have had our health insurance cancelled for the second year in a row. We are now scrambling to find another carrier in a space where fewer carriers are offering coverage at vastly higher prices and deductibles than we were paying just two years ago. Democrats don’t seem to care about this. They prefer to defend Obama.
  • They defend Obama’s government takeover of the Internet that will lead to slower speeds and higher rates.
  • They defend a public education system that is so bad that despite Obama and other Washington Democrats continuous defense of it, they send their own children to private schools instead.
  • They defend widespread distribution of racial paranoia and the promotion of dozens of preposterous myths regarding chronic racism. Despite the fact that the poverty rate amongst married blacks is the same as that of whites, and thousands of black celebrities, athletes, and movie stars are completely embraced by hundreds of millions of Americans, they defend the telling of the big lie that somehow blacks can’t catch a break.

In the end, the asinine destruction of our healthcare insurance system, the toleration of a pathetic public education system, the hijacking of the Internet, the borrowing of ten trillion dollars in just six years, the spreading of myths regarding racism, the ballooning use of food stamps, and the rewarding of lethargy and sloth instead of work will pale when compared to the refusal to label radical Islam a cancer that is growing on civilized societies all around the world. It is clear that Democrats will defend everything except the country to hold on to political power.

Over the last six years it has become clear that no party in the history of America has ever gotten so many things wrong as 21st Century Democrats.
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