Ever since the West has committed itself to fighting a war on terrorism, it's worth asking, what exactly is terrorism. Critics snidely remark that it isn't possible to fight a war on an emotion and in doing so they miss the point. Inflicting terror on the enemy has always been a significant part of war. From war paint to trumpets to banners and colors to mutilation to atrocities and massacres, terrorizing the enemy has always been a means to break his spirit and force a retreat, defeat or surrender.
What is unique today is that the enemy we are fighting is so utterly incompetent on the battlefield that they must resort to terror as their chief and primary weapon.
Until terrorists get their hands on weapons of mass destruction (a time that may not be too far away), terrorism is simply a weapon of terror. A loosely focused means of intimidating, destroying morale and forcing concessions and retreats without actually doing much good on the battlefield.
Suicide bombing is at the heart of the strategy of terror because it exemplifies everything that Mohammedan terrorists would like us to believe about them. In the cult of the fanatic, the atrocity, the inhuman act lifts the individual above humanity and makes him into a transcendent figure, the martyr or the monster. Both are two sides of the same coin.
By killing himself and taking others with him, the suicide bomber embodies the homicidal and self-destructive impulses of an entire culture. By carrying out an act of human sacrifice, the suicide bomber becomes the avatar for the death wish and death impulse of the entire Muslim world. That the suicide bombers are often disturbed, depressed or otherwise damaged is all to the better, as the pagan priests who served as cult avatars were often mad, their visions emerging from schizophrenia or other mental illnesses.
For the leaders of the terrorist groups though, madness is a cynical pose, much like Khrushchev's shoe thumping at the UN. They are not mad themselves, only hungry for power, and willing to send off those who are willing to die on one way suicide missions in order to intimidate their civilized enemies with the illusion of madness. By cultivating the cult of martyrdom, Muslim terrorists cultivate the illusion of a society willing to die en masse in order to bring down the infidels. But that illusion remains a middle eastern mirage, as can be easily discerned from the mass retreats and desertions after American and Israel victories over Middle Eastern armies.
The myth of mass martyrdom is cynically cultivated by the wealthiest populations in the Middle East and abroad who have no intention of dying themselves. They have two weapons in their arsenal, oil and demographics, one economic and one political, what they lack is a military checkmate, and that is where terrorism comes in.
In cultivating a cult of death, the cult of Mohammed the Mad Bomber, they also cultivate an intimidating weapon of terror that they can always blame on a handful of extremists. A weapon that conceals their own military ineptitude behind a frenzy of fanaticism. Madness is a disguise for their own weakness and inability to win an honest fight, which they compensate for through atrocity and massacres, by transforming a handful of themselves into avatars of death that atone for their weakness with murder.