To foil plots like these.

As posted on IP:
On 10 Aug 2006, at 14:32, David Farber wrote:

And so the question:  To foil plots like these, what would IPers do?

For me, the short answers would be: Kill a lot less people.

The long answer would begin by asking the question again, in a broader setting: What is the goal here, go hunt/arrest/kill ‘terrorists’ or to create a less dangerous world?

If the latter is the goal, then it is not very useful to simply ask a group of people to change. In this case the group of people are terrorists or those thinking of becoming terrorists. I’ll go out on a limb (and if I am right, the world has just become an even more dangerous and complicated place) and talk of these potential terrorists as radicalized, militant, jihadist Muslims.

There are calls to simply fight them. Which will inevitably spawn more.

There are also calls for the radical Muslim world to change and integrate into the modern world. This is a call for them to – to put it in different terms – evolve.

How does evolution happen? Evolution is about fitness to environment. When the environment changes, the organism/organization/what-have-you needs to change if the environment is sufficiently disruptive to the kind of existence perviously led.

OK, simplified and I guess somewhat distorted, but I am trying to highlight the need for the external environment to be conducive to change.

What would happen if American and UK foreign policies changed to be more inclusive to the needs of the Muslim world? What would happen to the (and there will always be a few of them, on any side of religion) clerics and their hate-the-west and the modern-world message? Many people would simply not buy their hate anymore, they would choose to buy a better life for themselves and their families.

As is stands now, hundreds killed in Lebanon, thousands killed in Afghanistan, hundreds of thousands killed in Iraq. How can we expect that some won’t get angry and listen to the (selfish, evil, myopic, power-mad) voices of some of those around them who suggest a way to ‘get back at’ the west?

Of course it will happen, of course some people will get angry, of course some people will want, even in a general sense, to extract revenge.

Our job is to find the fine line between taking out much of the desire for someone to ‘get back at’ the west, while actively hunting down those who will attack us no matter what (yes, there are people like that, who will attack us no matter what) and deal with them like what they are: criminals.

Finding this line, though continuos dialog, like the one you started today Mr. Bray, is maybe the defining argument of what it means to be free in the beginning of the 21t century: freedom from oppression and freedom from being oppressing.

BTW, I live in the flightpath to Heathrow, so this is not theoretical for me.

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