By lex, on June 14th, 2010
Apart from the moral aspect, there’s one fundamental flaw in the terrorist technique of using suicide bombers – there’s no learning curve:
Nowhere is the gap between sinister stereotype and ridiculous reality more apparent than in Afghanistan, where it’s fair to say that the Taliban employ the world’s worst suicide bombers: one in two manages to kill only himself. And this success rate hasn’t improved at all in the five years they’ve been using suicide bombers, despite the experience of hundreds of attacks—or attempted attacks. In Afghanistan, as in many cultures, a manly embrace is a time-honored tradition for warriors before they go off to face death. Thus, many suicide bombers never even make it out of their training camp or safe house, as the pressure from these group hugs triggers the explosives in suicide vests. According to several sources at the United Nations, as many as six would-be suicide bombers died last July after one such embrace in Paktika.
It should surprise no one that the footsoldiers of the jihad are more or less morons: Unemployed and untrainable, even at self-destruction. This makes the policy of biffing the leadership via Predator and Reaper drone even more important: Although the terrorist leaders are very careful with their own lives while being all too willing to sacrifice others in their nefarious cause, cream can’t rise to the top from a pile of sludge.
Still, we have to be lucky all the time. They only have to be lucky once.
Speaking of lucky, some of these holy warriors get lucky in decidedly impious ways:
(Intelligence) picked up by Predator drones and other battlefield cameras challenges that idea—sometimes rather graphically. One video, captured recently by the thermal-imagery technology housed in a sniper rifle, shows two Talibs in southern Afghanistan engaged in intimate relations with a donkey. Similar videos abound, including ground-surveillance footage that records a Talib fighter gratifying himself with a cow.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: We deserve a nobler foe.