Re: Aid for Afghanistan

From: Geraint Rees (
Date: Wed Jan 02 2002 - 09:35:59 MST

On 1/2/02 2:29 PM, "John Clark" <> wrote:

>> Randall Randall <> Wrote:
>> In the long term, there are only two ways not to lose: modify one's behavior
>> so as not to provide even remotely valid reasons for joining said movement,
> Changing our behavior so we become Islamic fundamentalists ourselves might do
> the trick, or it might not as Islamic states often go to war with each other.
> A more certain approach would be to alter our behavior so we were no longer
> successful.

No need to be so nihilistic! Just consistent and even-handed long term
political engagement on the part of the US will probably do just fine. There
are a lot of Islamic nations giving support to the current US action, and
with long term political engagement such political engagement could surely
become a real force for stability and good in the region.

>> or kill everyone who may have sympathy for those who are martyred for
>> said movement. Which one seems better to you?
> Easy question, I pick scenario number 2.

The history of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict (or, closer to home, the IRA
terrorist campaign for that matter) suggests that this approach will not
stop politically/religiously motivated violence. Military interventions
(like the present US intervention in Afghanistan) can IMO be both justified
and have a clear role. However, ultimately political engagement and
political solutions are the only long-term basis for secure stable
international relations, upon which global capitalism (the foundation of US
prosperity) depends. So it may well be in the US interest to engage
politically, not kill militarily, in the long run.

Best wishes,


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