Answer:  Education

I have read several books about the Middle East, particularly Afghanistan and Pakistan recently:  Greg Mortenson’s books, Three Cups of Tea and Stones into Schools; Malalai Joya’s A Woman Among Warlords and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, among others.

These books brought to mind an interesting comparison between what the terrorists like the Taliban and Al-Qaeda do regarding education and what has happened to education in North America, particularly the United States in the last 100 years.

One of the first things that the Taliban did when it came to power in the 90s was to close girls’ schools.  They made it against the law for women to get educated.  They would perpetrate the most hellacious acts of violence on any woman who defied the ruling.  Malalai’s book outlines some really horrible atrocities.

In his book Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson quotes an African proverb: “If you educate a boy, you educate the individual.  But if you educate a girl, you educate a community.”

He says further: “Several studies show if you educate a girl to at least the fifth grade level, it does three important things: one, it reduces infant mortality; number two, reduces population explosion; and number three it improves the quality of health and life itself.”

The Taliban and now the criminal mullahs that run Afghanistan are more interested in controlling (oppressing) their populations than allowing them any freedom of choice that education brings.

Mortensen talks in his books about Saudi extremists funneling money into boys’ schools in Pakistan that gave them a very narrow education that allowed their ‘teachers’ to control the boys’ views on the world.  Malalai Joya also points out how the same thing occurs in Afghanistan with both Saudi and Iranian religious extremists.  Uneducated boys are much easier to manipulate and indoctrinate into terrorism.  Malalai was, for years, part of program in Afghanistan that covertly ran schools for women.

In his book Confessions of a Mullah Warrior, Farivar Masood tells of his change of view when he came to the West.  He had very little education as to what the rest of the world was like.  He was educated in one of the extremist schools.

So, if you want to teach a population only your views, make sure that you control the education system.  That makes the terrorist target: education, especially women’s education because they will improve life in their community.

The scary thing is that a very similar activity has been going on in the United States of America for the last 100 years.

The book The Leipzig Connection by Paolo Lionni outlines how, starting in the early part of the 1900s, the Rockefellers and others financed the educating of teachers of the United States as long as principles and various concepts of psychiatry and psychology were incorporated into the  programs at Teachers’ Colleges.  We now have at least 2-3 generations of teachers indoctrinated in psychobabble instead of just how to educate someone.

The book The Leipzig Connection can be found on Amazon and other places but there is a site that has some pretty good excerpts: The Leipzig Connection

It is common knowledge that the education system has been deteriorating in the last 60-70 years.  In his book, Why Johnny Can’t Read, Rudolf Flesch gives numerous examples of farmers in England 500 years ago being more literate than many of the young in America today.

There are numerous websites that outline the invasive nature of psychiatry and psychology in our school systems and here is one of the better articles: Psychiatric Help?

So, the top terrorist targets in the United States are not large buildings or nuclear plants but the minds of our children.