Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Paul Berman on the new international reality.
The genuine solution to these attacks can come about in only one way, which is by following the same course we pursued against the Fascist Axis and the Stalinists. The Arab radical and Islamist movements have to be, in some fashion or other, crushed. Or else they have to be tamed into something civilized and acceptable, the way that some of the old Stalinist parties have agreed to shrink into normal political organizations of a democratic sort. The solution, in short, lies in effecting enormous changes in large parts of the political culture of the Arab and Islamic world--the sort of transformation that can be achieved, if at all, only after many years or even decades of struggle, and not through any single decisive strike. It is a transformation that would require a vast range of actions on the part of the liberal world--military and commando raids when necessary and possible, constant policing, economic pressure, and much else, all of it conducted under the kind of urgent and relentless mobilization that does go under the label of "war" and not with the kind of modest activity that might fit under the mild name of "policing." Is there any serious person who doubts the need for covert action today?

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