Today's Washington Post
has a horrifying story
of a German of Arab descent whom the CIA kidnapped and flew to Afghanistan because they thought he might possibly be a terrorist. And they "wanted a scalp."
If someone's looking for a movie to write, this is fertile territory.
I know some of you think I'm "cartoonishly liberal" (and I appreciate your reading anyway). But kidnapping the citizens of your allies because they're Arabs is terribly risky (not to say criminal) even when they're actually bad guys. When you're going on a hunch, and you're wrong, it is just about the best way to support Al Qaeda that I can think of. Just ask the Mossad about Lillehammer. We cannot win this thing if we're as bad as the jihadis say we are.
We win it by being better.
There's a fascinating book by a retired Army interrogator Chris Mackey called The Interrogators
which tells how you're supposed
to interrogate people if you want the truth. When you torture people they tend to name names -- any names -- like college professors who gave them bad grades. You have to break down their attitudes, not their bodies. Worth reading.
The stated aim of terrorism is to provoke changes in the shape of the society you want to undermine. If you're not big enough to impose your worldview by force, and you've no chance of winning hearts and minds, then you look for leverage points where the actions you take (kill some random strangers with no connection to your cause) will provoke reactions that amount to deterioration in a stable society.
This kind of thing just feeds the beast.
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