Terrorists Copy-Cat Minds

by Harold J. Bursztajn, M.D., October 23, 2002

The Washington area sniper terrorist's rationalization and rage at the police in his letter is typical of terrorists who blame the victims for defending themselves and than rationalize their murderous acts as "revenge" for such acts of self-defence. We can see this when bus riders are murdered in Israel and the Palestinian terrorists rationalize and ask for world sympathy by claiming that their acts are justified revenge for imperfect Israeli self-defence efforts. It thus comes as no surprise that when a bus driver is murdered by a terrorist in Maryland, a letter accompanies which rationalizes the murder by blaming imperfect police efforts.

What we are dealing with worldwide, whether in the United States, Indonesia, or Israel is a "cycle of terrorism and rationalization" where accepting international terrorists' rationalizations encourages domestic terrorism. Terrorists and wanna be terrorists watch our reaction; and the more we accept the rationalizations of the Sadam Hussein's, Hammas', Jihad's, etc. about the righteousness of their acts, the more we morally equivocate by lumping terrorism and self defense under the catch all phrase of a "cycle of violence", the more we displace our outrage into overblown calls for restraint on the part of international terrorism's victims, the more we provide ammunition for domestic "me too" and "wanna be" copy-cat terrorists.