Ethics and the New War

"Ethics and the New War" by Michael Ignatieff

Dr. Ignatieff talks about four asymmtries when looking at terrorism and the war on it. To those, I would add a fifth: the assymetrical psycological response to terrorism. One of the political goals of terrorism is to discredit political moderatism in the target country. Israel may be cited as an example of this. The political moderates are fearful of speaking up because they might be considered traitors to Israel. Israel is also an example of a security state, with checkpoints and roadblocks dotting the country, making things onerous for not only peaceful Palestinians to work, but also for peaceful Israeli citizens to live without a soldier on every corner.

The danger for the United States was (and still is) reacting too strongly to the terrorist attacks on September 11. Or, in other words, letting the terrorists win.