How to reduce the threat of terrorist attacks

Medea Benjamin takes a logical approach to this question. She identifies ten things that the US is doing that are inflaming tensions in the Middle East and suggests that not doing them might reverse the situation. As she says, “This 10-point plan would significantly reduce terrorist threats, save taxpayers billions of dollars and make Americans more loved and admired in the world. After a decade of wielding the military stick, it’s time for some carrots.”

There is, however, a conspicuous omission in her list and that is that she says nothing about the situation that Israel has created with its occupation. As long as that sore continues to fester and the US is seen as enabling Israel in carrying out its land-grabbing policies, there will continue to be trouble.

But her list is still a good one. Will following those recommendations stop the attacks immediately? Of course not. Tensions are so high and feelings have been so inflamed by what has happened in the last decade that it will take a while for things to subside.


  1. machintelligence says

    Good advice in general, but I have a question about # 10

    we could be building schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan,

    How do you propose to keep the teachers and students alive long enough to do any good?

  2. doublereed says

    Yea number 10 made no sense to me.

    Also, is number 2 recommending that we close all 800 military bases????

  3. physicsphdstu says

    Never in a million years will the US follow any of these. No one will get elected if they mention anything close to this :(.

  4. F [is for failure to emerge] says

    #3: Sure. Why not?

    #2: I would expect that would happen after some of the other proposed actions have time to be efficacious? It looks like a list of ten things, not a systematic roadmap and timetable.

  5. 2up2down2furious says

    That one’s definitely a stretch, but in my opinion the only thing more outrageous than closing 800 bases is having 800 bases.

  6. Jeffrey Johnson says

    Several of these ideas could increase US popularity abroad. I especially liked the one about compensating innocent victims, though in practice this appealing sounding idea would be hard to manage. Just as we had people in Afghanistan accusing innocent people of having ties to the Taliban to collect rewards, there would be lots of people who are not victims at all trying to get compensation, and how would we know?

    But even if all ten of these were fully enacted, plus a withdrawal of support for Israel, it might slow down Al Qaeda recruiting a little, but they would just tailor their message. The new message would be a declaration of victory over the US and would be used to recruit excited young men who want to establish the new Caliphate from the Mediteranean, across the Midle East and South Asia, and even to Southeast Asia.

    It is a problem that Americans are threatened by terror, but by far the largest victims of global jihad are other Muslims, especially those who embrace modern Western values. The goal is to overthrow governments in Muslim countries to establish Islamic rule. The main thing the US does that causes them to attack us is that we try to thwart their goal, with goid reason.There is no way we should just step aside, surrender, and allow them to carry out this goal. It’s a misunderstanding of the whole purpose of Al Qaeda and its affiliates to think that the US bowing out would end hostilities. Getting the US out of their way is just an intermediate step in their long term strategy.

  7. colnago80 says

    There is, however, a conspicuous omission in her list and that is that she says nothing about the situation that Israel has created with its occupation.

    Ah, the good professor is so predictable. Just throw Israel under the bus and all will be well with US relations with the Muslim world. That will certainly help the situations in Egypt and Syria. Not.

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