nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

In re terrorism

One of the things that got to me about the debate is that Bush is focused on Iraq and Kerry is focused on bin Laden. Imho, Bush is wrong and Kerry is years too late.

Al Queda has developed a decentralized terrorism which isn't dependent on individual leaders. While it might take unusual capabilities to make a 9/11 happen, people who can organize a car-bombing aren't especially rare.

While police work, diplomacy, and perhaps (though it seems unlikely) war can be used to limit the amount of terrorism, I believe that the only long run solution is going to come from the Muslim community. I don't have a list of links to Muslim moderates, but I do keep hearing them interviewed on NPR and the BBC--people who think terrorism isn't acceptable.

Governments have some effect on what people do, but imho the strongest inhibition is just "one doesn't do that".

The terrorists are helping out in this project, or at least I hope so. The more people realize that terrorists aren't good neighbors, the better. A lot of people already know this, but I don't think terrorists could do such an easy job of recruiting if the consensus against terrorism were stronger.

And I don't think "they hate us anyway" is a profitable way to think--this eliminates all our inhibitions against outrages, and while there might be some people who hate us so much that they'll kill themselves and anyone else within reach to try to hurt us, the number of people who are willing to go that far matters, and that number is affected by how many people we're hurting.

I'm not sure how much the US can do to help the moderate Muslims--they have reasons not to like or trust us. I am sure that it would take a lot more care and knowledge than we've shown so far. Bush has been a disaster, but I wish Kerry would say something about how we need to know more and think more.
Tags: politics

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