the terrorists will have won

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English[edit]

Phrase[edit]

the terrorists will have won

  1. (idiomatic) Phrase used to indicate that if a specified activity is not continued or carried out, those who seek to disrupt normal activities through terror will have succeeded, which is an unacceptable result.
    • 1979, Edwin Nobles Lowe; Harry D. Shargel, Legal and other aspects of terrorism‎, page 222:
      If you throttle the free press, the terrorists will have won.
    • 1989, Susheela Bhan, Terrorism: an Annotated Bibliography‎, page 116:
      If governments overact and become oppressive, the terrorists will have won, for their theory is that repression will eventually lead to revolution.
    • 2009, Andrea Cohen-Kiener, Claiming Earth As Common Ground: The Ecological Crisis Through the Lens of Faith‎, page 17:
      If we have to wear sweaters and turn down our thermostat, the terrorists will have won.