Monday, October 11, 2004

Re: Fancy Store-Bought Dirt: Gambling, Prostitution, and "Context" --
A comment I posted in reply to this post:
Try reading, dude.

The actual comparison is to organized crime. Prostitution and gambling just happen to be two of the activities associated with organized crime.

Now the quote is inartful. Kerry should say organized crime before mentioning prostitution and gambling, and perhaps the two are not the best example of organized crime activities. But is a comparison between al-Qaeda and the mafia really that bad of an analogy?

They key here is that Kerry is removing terrorism from the war analogy previously used to combat drugs and poverty. If we are faced with the concept of war applied to terrorism, then we are faced with a war without end, because Kerry's analogy is correct; we can't end religious extremist beliefs and we can't end people wanting to use violence to back up their beliefs. While you can fight wars against states that sponsor or provide a haven for terrorism, winning those wars won't end terrorism.

It's a sustainable, long-haul strategy for fighting terrorism that doesn't require whipping up the populace into a patriotic frenzy to maintain a "war" effort. The later can lead only to a weary people or a police-state or both.
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