The “war on terror” – another view

John Naughton’s blog Understanding terrorism: a 12-point primer, posted yesterday, reminded me that that the opposition to Bush’s so called “war on terror” has always had eloquent voices to speak for it. One of those voices is the Irish born American academic Louise Richardson. Richardson, who is executive dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, a senior lecturer in government at Harvard, and a lecturer on law at Harvard Law School, has lectured widely on terrorism and international security.  

It’s a great shame that that her book, What Terrorists Want, has come too late to make any difference to the way Americans (and to indeed people in Britain) have been encouraged to think of terrorism and terrorists. But then, if it had been published earlier – say, before Bush blundered into Iraq – would it have made a difference? My guess is that it would have made not a one iota of a difference. A reasoned argument that says there are times when we must listen to and understand what the terrorists are telling us was never going to sway in Bush’s White House.  

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The “war on terror” – another view

John Naughton’s blog Understanding terrorism: a 12-point primer, posted yesterday, reminded me that that the opposition to Bush’s so called “war on terror” has always had eloquent voices to speak for it. One of those voices is the Irish born American academic Louise Richardson. Richardson, who is executive dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, a senior lecturer in government at Harvard, and a lecturer on law at Harvard Law School, has lectured widely on terrorism and international security.  

It’s a great shame that that her book, What Terrorists Want, has come too late to make any difference to the way Americans (and to indeed people in Britain) have been encouraged to think of terrorism and terrorists. But then, if it had been published earlier – say, before Bush blundered into Iraq – would it have made a difference? My guess is that it would have made not a one iota of a difference. A reasoned argument that says there are times when we must listen to and understand what the terrorists are telling us was never going to sway in Bush’s White House.  


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