Friday, September 17, 2004

Evil Terrorists

Molly Ivins:
...I think we're all capable of evil under extreme circumstances. I do know that most humans are kinder and better people when they are healthy, well-fed, raised by loving people in a secure environment and taught it is wrong to kill. But that doesn't change human nature.

One trouble with defining terrorism as absolute evil is, as the saying goes, one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. Second, we appear to be stuck -- permanently stuck -- with war of unequal forces, since no country is dumb enough to declare war on the United States. So we need to learn every thing we can about how to fight these people effectively. Third, defining "terrorist" or any "other" as an absolute, irrational evil gives us a spurious and intoxicating sense of self-righteousness. We become the simon-pure contrast, thus missing any chance to consider if correcting or just changing our own conduct would be effective...

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