My daily read is Andrew Sullivan and, through him, the impressive staff of bloggers that The Atlantic magazine has built up. That also includes writers like Matt Yglesias. Today he had an interesting bit which I think captures the political hysteria and posturing surrounding the whole terrorism issue. The American terrorism issue has long been treated as an ideological issue when it’s really a policy one. Nobody supports terrorism, we just differ about what to do about it. However ideologues try to phrase it as an ‘us or them’ thing without ever getting to the real work at hand.
There’s a very real underlying incoherence in the conservative conception of how to think about the al-Qaeda phenomenon, an unwillingness to understand efforts to destroy the enemy and secure the United States as a practical problem that requires actual knowledge and reasonably crafted policies. Instead, they prefer to see it as a kind of grown-up version of a staring contest or a power ring battle. (The Big Test)
In the same way, the leadership of Sri Lanka seems to think it’s just an issue of them staring the LTTE down while the public shuts their eyes. And it’s not. It’s a real, practical problem which requires real solutions, and all hands on deck. And this isn’t a staring contest. This is a practical problem that needs all the ingenuity and critical facilities of the Sri Lankan people to craft a real solution. Starting with a free press.