Salon has an article today about a country that used to reward those who denounce it with honors and riches- Holland, which now has clammed up a bit after the brutal murder of Theo van Gogh. His murderer, Mohammad Bouyeri comes of as more banal than we might expect.
"Bouyeri fits the profile of lone gunmen the world over: an intelligent young man whose efforts to "make it" in mainstream society met with reversals, and who gradually gave up, retreating into violent ideology and fantasy. Bouyeri did well in high school and tried several university programs, but found nothing to hold his interest. He got involved in organizing for a local Muslim community youth center, but had a funding application rejected. Then he fell in with a group of kids who liked to download videos of Middle Eastern terrorists sawing the heads off of infidels."
So not a lot different than the 'alienated loser' type that most violent criminals fit into. One of the scary things lately is this feeling that those alienated losers who have been waiting for an excuse to start killing people for years have found one in 'radical Islam'. How do you go to war against disparate groups of psychos who think they have a reason to lash out against a society they hate? Should we use the methods the FBI uses in tracking down serial killers? Why in the world are we trying to fight this like it was the Cold War instead?