Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Violence Begets Peace
The historical record shows, though, that tough responses to terrorist provocation sharply reduce violence. In Striking Back, a new book about the real Israeli reaction to Munich, Aaron Klein (of Time's Jerusalem bureau) reports that pursuing terrorists after 1972 led to dramatic declines in attacks on Israelis. If nothing else, aggressive tactics against murderous plotters keep them busy trying to stay alive, making it harder to develop plots. Recently, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's resolute reply to the latest Palestinian intifada, including targeted killings and construction of an anti-terrorism barrier, served to bring that uprising to an end and to produce dramatically enhanced security in Israel. Similarly, most Americans understand that efforts to kill or capture Osama bin Laden serve to protect all of us, not just gratify a desire for revenge.