Comments: So Close, and Yet So Far

The best way to protect America and the rest of the world from terrorists in the long run is to reform the dysfunctional Arab political culture that gives rise to this terrorism. Such reform is what the liberation of Iraq is all about, and why President Bush committed the US to doing so. Now it may be that this will fail, and that Arab culture is so out of tune with the modern world that consensual government cannot take root there. I feel more confident about the reform program since the war than I did before it, but I could be wrong. In such a case we can fall back on the "he's a son of a bitch, but he's our son of a bitch" strategy beloved of the CIA and the State Department. This strategy is a much less satisfactory one, and may not succeed in ensuring the demise of terrorism, since it tends to perpetuate the dysfuntional political culture I mentioned above.

Posted by: Michael Lonie at August 11, 2003 at 02:28 AM