You Can’t Win

Dear Terrorists,

You can’t win. You will never beat us.

You see, “we” aren’t a country, a people, or a place. “We” are an idea.

We are the idea that freedom is always better, that religion and government should be separate, that heaven is a place on earth and whatever lies beyond this life closed to those who commit violence in the quest therefore, that pleasure is a gift from any god who made us in his image, and that women are most beautiful as their own masters.

We are the idea that individuals are the sole arbiters of their faith, that collective exercises of force must be limited, and that you have no right, divine or political, to enslave the mind or body of another.

We are the idea that no ends justify dropping a bomb-filled backpack next to an eight-year-old boy, that only a false god would suggest to the contrary, and that the universe holds no reward for those who fall prey to the silver-tongues of false gods.

In your heart you know I am right.

For every one angry young man you turn to your cause, how many assimilate? How many of your children succumb to the siren song of freedom? How many of your women decide the view is better from outside the veil?

For every 100 you send, we’ll turn 99.

No. For every thousand, we will turn 999.

We are the idea that every exchange should be voluntary and for value, and that central planning of religion and belief is as destructive as central planning of an economy.

When you understand those words, you will understand why we have robotic bomb detectors and forward looking infrared—and you have pressure cookers filled with nails. You will understand why we have a million heroes—and you have a handful of angry outcasts.

You will understand why you are doomed to forever cast yourselves impotently against the walls of an indestructible fortress of greatness that can only be achieved through freedom.

If you have ten together worth just one of our heroes, I’d be surprised. It took us 102 hours to take down the best you’ve got. You just don’t turn them out like we do. When you understand why, you will know why you have already lost.

Tear down a building. We will build one taller. Blow up a race. Next year more will run. Recruit five of ours, a dozen, a hundred. In the time it has taken me to type these words, we’ve turned a thousand of yours.

In another hour, it will be a thousand more.

You can’t fight an idea. The more damage you inflict, the stronger it becomes. Because the world never craves light so strongly as when it is in darkness.

When you know why tens of thousands more will come next year to run under sun and sky, legs and arms bared, hearts and minds free, while you cower under robes and dogma and fear of sin, then you will know why you have lost.

We are freedom itself.

And we will never lose.

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