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August 14, 2006

Say it again

Posted by Phil on August 14, 2006 10:46 AM

This time it's Kevin Drum:

It's human nature to demand action following an attack. Any action. Counseling restraint in the hope that it will pay off in the long run is politically ruinous. But our lives may depend on figuring out how to make this case.

If it wasn't obvious before, it should be obvious by now that conventional military assaults are usually counterproductive against a guerrilla enemy like the ones we're fighting now. We can't kill off the fanatics fast enough to win, and in the meantime the war machine simply inspires more recruits, more allies, and more sympathy for the terrorists.

[A]ctually having a coherent long-term strategy to pair up with a short-term counsel of forbearance would make the job easier. Ditto for a more aggressive short-term approach to homeland security. But neither of those will do the trick alone. Someone has to figure out how to sell the basic plan.

I'm just meandering around the point here, trying to marshal my own thoughts by setting them down on the blog. If that seems a bit pointless, I apologize. But I'm probably going to keep doing it from time to time. After all, I'd hate to think that this is a flatly impossible problem.

I don't see why he's apologizing. I'm convinced--and have been since 9/12--that this is the key to preventing warring fundamentalists from ruining our lives. Forbearance, justice, an authoritative world body, and a global consensus to stop terrorism that isn't constantly being undermined by freelance warmaking. This isn't pacifism, it's pragmatism.

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