Tuesday, December 27, 2005

A long political tradition of mishandling terror

Erik Spanberg reviews Richard Reeves' book on Ronald Reagan, Christian Science Monitor. For all the saber rattling we see on the right, and the slings and arrows thrown at Clinton and Kerry, let us not forget this:
Perhaps most jarring to the memory is Reagan's contradictory policy on terrorism, rampant with gunslinger rhetoric but often bereft of hard-hitting deterrence. Two decades later, how many Americans remember the president's decision not to retaliate when 241 US Marines were killed in Beirut?
Both the left and the right have failed and continue to fail in the fight against terror. Each side has its own, unique blend of failure, however, neither side is blameless. Neither side, at least in the executive office since the late 1970s, has been all that encouraging.

8 Comments:

Blogger Bassizzzt said...

You're right, but don't get me started on my tirade against apologetics, League-of-Nations thinking, and tolerance. I wish we had a leader that would be a hardliner against:

1. Terrorism - Kidnap their women and children and bury their dead in pig skins
2. Illegal immigration (send them ALL packing home to wherever they came from)
3. Crack down on Vicente Fox

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:04 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

No personal comments about another blogger or commentator shall be allowed. I don't care how good your point is.

Unless you want to insult me, fine.

2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please repost the previous comment and substitute your own name

5:44 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

Actually, many people remember quite well that Reagan did not go after the terrorists, and think that decision was wrong. (I wasn't alive, but I've heard it many many times...)

6:14 PM  
Blogger zen said...

It begs the question:
Is the only way to fight fire, with fire?

6:52 PM  
Anonymous The Fireman said...

The best fire prevention is to use substances that don't burn. It takes a little more effort but works 100% of the time.

# forest fires in the rainforest: 0

In this sense it means encouraging economic growth so "terrorists" have an actual choice and hope for a peaceful future. It will mean mistakes and nation building is not a science but there will be progress- small fires.

Anyway, peace is the absence of the threat of violence, not just the absence of violence. So the answer is, fighting fire with fire will not be a long term solution.

8:09 PM  
Blogger zen said...

well said fireman...well said.

when will the knee-jerk, reactionaries understand this?

8:52 AM  

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