Monday, December 17, 2007

Well Put

Kevin Drum made a statement today that is so right on I must reproduce it here. It's so fundamentally correct yet so misunderstood that it's pathetic:

[Bob] Kerrey wasn't suggesting that electing Obama would have any direct effect on hardcore al-Qaeda jihadists. But terrorists can't function unless they have a critical mass of support or, at a minimum, tolerance from a surrounding population. This is Mao's sea in which the jihadists swim. Without it, terrorists simply don't have enough freedom of movement to be effective, and their careers are short. It's why the Red Brigades in Italy and the Baader-Meinhof gang in Germany lasted only a few years, while the IRA in Ireland has lasted decades.
So-called "hard power" (as used by Drum) is the last resort, the resort of fools who have screwed up the real tools to eliminate extremism. Unfortunately we have many fools running our government right now.

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