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« "Need to Know" vs. "Need to Share" – A Very Fine Line Indeed | Main | Web 2.0 – Al Qaeda’s Most Effective Force Multiplier »

May 08, 2007

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Ari Gordon-Schlosberg

Turns out that a few people have thought about this. I'm reminded of a friend of mine who said that the invasion of Iraq should gone something like this:

* Airstrikes to soften up hard targets.
* Roll through the mechanized infantry to clear out resistance and establish order.
* Bring in the food trucks and mobile clinics and engineers. Restore civil life immediately.

You only advance as fast you can win the hearts and minds and truly secure the area. I thought it made a lot of sense. (Especially compared to the, "Roll up the regime in three weeks and spend five years picking up the pieces," strategy that we haven't had much success with yet).

Turns out there a bunch of people thinking like this, including presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Department_of_Peace

It's an interesting idea, to be sure, and a step in the right direction.

William Heath

Dear Jeff

You may be a late bloomer on human rights and dignity, but it's a lot harder for human-rights people to learn what you know about IT systems and security. We're all on this journey together.

Where are the people reducing ill-will? In my world I see:

http://www.quaker.org.uk/
http://www.caat.org.uk/
and imagine the courage needed to speak truth to power like this:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmselect/cmfaff/uc1720-i/1720m02.htm

Anyway, thinking through how we reduce illwillin the world is the best possible activity. I THINK the steps are

1. Respect for people
2. Justice, then
3. Living in peace

...but there are more challenges than quick wins! Anyway, what we must ensure is that e-enabled society is built explicitly on such values and not on stupid attempts to control everyone then paper over the cracks. Lets have a beer in London sometime soon.

stephanie

jeff
if you would like to look into other avenues of roadmaps to sustained peace, take a look at earthcharter.org. i am working with the upeace organization in costa rica and this document helps define a sustainable development for the world to inch closer to that vision.
stef

Brian Benz

IMHO September 11 allowed the world to sympathize with us as human beings rather than faceless brands and media stereotypes. Since then it seems that we have lost that. For me that's the key, to see each other as individuals with much more in common than not. That's why I'm all for charities like afs.org that place young people in foreign countries to promote understanding and friendship. The general idea is that if we get to know someone, we'll be less likely to hate or kill them......

Tom Quiggin

Jeff,

There are people who are working on this. They are at the counter ideology project at RSIS in Singapore, at the Radical Middle Way in London, and other such places. The ground work is being done and it is effective.

What is needed first, however, is a counter terrorism strategy at the national level. This is lacking in all but a few countries. Also, we need to say that counter terrorism is not an issue that can be "won" by militarizing the problem. A much broader approach is needed. It is what we used to call the DIME approach: Diplomacy, Intelligence and Information, Military and Economic.

And you are right to worry about legal changes made in the name of counter terrorism. The whole idea behind terrorism is to effect a change of political behaviour on the other side. For a postive example of what can be done in the face of terrorism, look at the recent conviction of Omar Khyam and his co-conspirators in the UK last month. They were convicted under a law that was passed in 1883 (repeat for clarity: 1883). No PATRIOT Act, no Gitmo and no waterboarding used. As said here in Asia on occasion, there are interesting times ahead.

William

Oddly enough I was browsing in a bookshop this morning a facsimile of WW2 guidance to US forces in Iraq. Guess what the central theme was...

Ross

We need a heckuva lot more "Jim Simons", more than ever before.

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