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Re: Assured destruction

Reader comment on item: [Lee Harris on Why the U.S. is] Discarding War's Rules

Submitted by Cas Balicki (Canada), Jul 22, 2003 at 10:49

Any such policy would have to carry the guarantee of "assured destruction". The problem with terrorists, as we all know, is that they hide among innocent populations. A tough policy that takes rules off the table can only work when the terrorists are assured of destruction in disproportionate numbers as compared to the innocents among which they hide.

It does us no good to kill Palestinian gunmen if we kill their innocent co-citizens at some higher ratio. Unfortunately, terrorists know this well. They also know that it is our decency that keeps use from bombing Gaze or the West Bank into the stone age, not our fear of them per se.

The only benefit that I see deriving from this policy is that goverment sposors of terror will think twice about their financing activities, which in and of itself is not a bad effect. Still, as the Iranian Mullahs prove, inter-governmental pressure only drives their activities further underground.

Unless we as Western society are prepared to systematically work our way through every lunatic mullah-ocracy in the region, based on sometimes very sketchy evidence of terror sponsorship, I don't see this approach working. Our Western morality prevents us from such hyper-aggressive conduct.

Eventually, the West will win this war. No other outcome is possible given that history favours enlightenment. Still, keeping the faith is sometimes a hard thing to do given the nature of the enemy.

Regards

Cas Balicki
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