Well for al-Qaida I understand their balls are hurting big time, but as for the real terrorists well terrorism is just a tool, the enemy is the ideology behind this terrorism and that is Islam. They are doing nothing that their prophet did not do. Murder, rape, assassination, beheading, massacre and mutilation of the dead "to delight the hearts of the believers" were all practiced by Muhammad.
But LoL Bear 'Four Thousand years of religious wars is starting to get annoying' you make it sound like it will take another Thousand years to get you miffed
, IMO I see little lust for diplomacy left in the peoples of Europe, hearts are hardening fast.
In a conventional scenario I couldn't agree with you more whole heartily regarding pre-emptive retaliation, but lets say hypothetically the macro was beyond conventional morality because the seriousness of the matter in hand, say the survival of the planet and some of the people on it could be safe guarded but only within a small window ... winner takes all, could you live with that?, literally.
I do get angry at these random acts of terror that have propagated. So it won't take another 1000 years to really piss me off [being in NYC on 9/11 showed that to me]. What I look at, and I look at it from a systems point of view is cause and effect. What is the root cause of the problem. Is it really simply Islam? If that is the case I would think ALL Westerners would be dead as there are around a Billion Muslims and that many folks focused on the western culture would provide a swift conclusion. Murder, rape, assassination, beheading, massacre and mutilation of the dead "to delight the hearts of the believers" would leave a larger swath than 7/7, 9/11 and 3/11. So the problem must be much smaller and at that point must be better defined. The broad brush that we, as Westerners give to that culture already incites them, simply due to our dismissiveness of their culture and religion.
Regarding pre-emptive retaliation and the "what if we could just save the world..." scenario. This is the same argument that is often used to justify torture. Would you torture a man who you thought knew the information you needed to stop a nuclear bomb from going off in a crowded city? It is a very slippery slope.
On pre-emptive retaliation then, if you KNOW that a group is going to do something that is ominous, you have pretty well defined them as terrorists and they fit under the category of "take them out". That becomes less clear when the argument is "this religion is preaching hate and that theology is going to end up killing millions of people". Taking out those who practice a specific religion because you perceive it a threat is just not an answer.
Much like the invasion of Iraq, there were dozens of steps that should have, could have been made before the concept of Invasion was even brought into the room, much less put on the table.