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Let it be borne on the flag under which we rally in every exigency, that we have one country, one constitution, one destiny. -- Daniel Webster

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Failure of Militarism

The media are filled with stories of a new toughness toward Islamic extremists.  This post should serve as an introduction to forth-coming reflections about this  matter.

A beginning was already made here earlier.  The approach being mentioned by Republican candidates and others, for example, is one of a new harder line:  renewed intrusions to Internet privacy (that is, beefed-up Internet surveillance), more air strikes, and the like.  Swiftly, I say this will not work.  The approach, as I have said, must be comprehensive.  And I believe the administration in Washington is coming to see this.

Terrorism of this nature cannot flourish in a vacuum.  This is the same thing as saying terrorism is happening in the context of a certain social milieu in the Middle East -- an environment of economic deprivation leading to instability region-wide.  Now certainly poverty does not itself cause violence, otherwise everyone in poverty would be committing acts of violence.  But in this case, in order to shut down the violence, economic justice must be part of the toolkit carried by diplomats as they seek to combat the despicable acts of terrorism we are currently witnessing.

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