Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Important article

Our “Grievance” Problem
Some “root-cause” talk will get you nowhere.
By Emanuele Ottolenghi
Western impulses to explain away the threat of terror and seek a solution to the problem are empowering in a way. We have a diagnosis and we have a cure. But they are also misleading. For why should it be logical or even understandable that Muslim anger at Western foreign policy solicits terrorism? Should anger at high taxes, inefficient health care, poor environmental standards, or disagreeable op-eds solicit “understandable” similar responses? Should we condone people blowing up airliners because they think the highest tax bracket should not be higher than, say, 30 percent? Should we “address their grievances”? By, say, lowering taxes? What if someone decides to blow up, say, the Guardian because they are fed up with the political inclination of its Comment section? Should the Guardian address their grievances by becoming right-wing? Can we not call it blackmail, instead, as it should be the case? Can we not say that differences of opinion are only legitimate when voiced in the peaceful forms amply provided by the open societies we are part of? That what makes people angry is no excuse for killing people?

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