Terror was the scourge of Europe in 19th century. Anarchists, as they were called then, fueled by social injustice and many nationalistic causes, launched a war against the institution of the state itself. The vocabulary was different, but the rhetoric similar to those of today’s Islamic fundamentalists. The social and political fabric of society at that time turned many idealistic young men into terrorists. The police could not follow all the new anarchist organizations popping up constantly. They finally got a handle on them when secret agents established anarchist organizations themselves, and most aspiring young terrorists started their career by contacting one of these police-controlled groups. Judging by how surprised we were on September 11th, we can bet that the CIA and the FBI did not use this technique.
The culmination of the 19th century terrorist actions occurred at the beginning of the 20th century, when on June 28th 1914 the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo. That terrorist attack has many analogies to our recent experience. It was prepared by a Serbian militant organization run secretly by a high ranking Serbian officer. There were at least 7 assassins (one of them confessed that there were 22 of them) placed along the planned motorcade route to take advantage of the best moment to kill. The first attempt failed, as the bomb thrown at the car bounced off the Archduke’s arm and exploded on the street, harming dozens of bystanders. The second attempt occurred when, due to lax security, the assassin had a chance to shoot from a short distance, killing Franz Ferdinand and his pregnant wife Sophie. For the Austro-Hungarian Empire, at that time a relatively liberal and peaceful state, it was a shock comparable to the one we’ve just had. They reacted in a similar way too, and declared a war against terrorism harbored in Serbia. Within a few weeks it evolved into World War I. How will the World look a few weeks after the launch our war against terrorism?
Almost everyone is repeating that, since the recent attack, America has changed forever. It did indeed, but we should fight to get our America back. The first war of the twenty first century will be won when our air travel will once again be as relaxed as it was before the morning of September 11, 2001. How we can do it? We may need to “take out” some of the terrorists. But we also have to show all the potential “terrorists to be” that they have a realistic chance to participate in our prosperity. We will win the war against terrorism when they become like us. I mean us before the morning of September 11, 2001.