I suppose I'll throw my two cents in regarding the Matt Bai piece, since the nuisance line appears to have legs. As others (here, here) have noted, this is pretty right on, and actually quite encouraging regarding Kerry's potential.

As Mickey Kaus has noted in his kinder moments, the world needs a break from the Bush administration's War on Terror. Four years of confused semi-hysteria, one big stupid war, and a few hundred million enraged Muslims were perhaps inevitable to some extent. But it is time for us to embrace a mature approach to terror that is not afraid to let the political narrative be subsumed by a quiet execution.

Just in case we need one more reminder, "terrorism" is essentially meaningless. Weak peoples who have a little of the crazy on their side will always choose to confront big slow-moving states with vicious targeted acts of violence. This is an inevitable effect of having states, after all. But September 11 opened the door for America to right its policy on a host of pressing concerns we have ignored for too long: A) the violent byproducts of weak states and the global black market, and B) the unique economic, political and social crises afflicting the Muslim world.

Come on people. It was a very satisfying ride, but we all know that complex global problems and nonstate fugitive groups aren't going to be addressed by "breaking the back of tyranny" or "short-circuiting history" or "steadfast resolve". These are labor intensive, delicate projects. And while violence must of course be an option when needed, the unpredictable, catastrophic consequences of large scale violence are antithetical to the kind of hard, thoughtful work we need to do.


Post a Comment

<< Home