Sunday, July 10, 2005

Allies of Our Own Gravediggers

Neo-neocon has a great post up today about how the West has been, and continues to be "allies of our own gravediggers", and asks how much should we adjust:

How very ironic and paradoxical: the terrorists in Britain pracice a sort of non-gentle type of jujitsu, using the opponent's own strength and redirecting it back at him in order to try to bring him down. The opponents--the British and American systems of government, rights, law enforcement, and intelligence--must be nimble and flexible, not rigid, in order to strike back and win. How much do we need to adjust our legal systems to fight this particular menace effectively? How little is too little? How much is too much?

I think this is an extremely important point. How much is too little? How much is too much?? There has been no serious debate on this issue because everything the Bush Administration tries to do is met with hyperbole and hysteria, rather than a rational discussion of our objectives and the compromises that must be made.

The rather insane rantings about the imminent apocalypse of the Patriot Act is a simple example. But we are in new territory here; fighting against an enemy that does not follow the rules of war or of any civilized nation. How do we save humanity from the barbarians at the door, without ourselves permanently becoming the barbarians? How can we preserve our values without having to commit suicide and become the allies of our own grave diggers?

It's a question that all reasonable people should ponder. And it is a debate that should be ongoing among our leaders.

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