Why Terrorism Works
US President George W. Bush must have felt himself greatly empowered if he had read the insightful analysis of terrorism that Alan M. Dershowitz explains with clarity in his latest book titled, Why Terrorism Works: Understanding the threat, responding to the challenge. (Published 2002, R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co., Inc.) The author is professor of law at Harvard Law School, Americas most renowned criminal defense and civil liberties attorney, and dubbed by Time Magazine as the top lawyer of last resort in America.
Dershowitz affirms that the greatest danger facing the world today comes from statesponsored terrorist groups that are developing weapons of mass destruction for use against civilian targets. With indicting language, he argues passionately the global terrorism is largely of our own making. Based on the recent acts of terrorism and the corresponding reactions, he explains that terrorism is successful when we give in to the terrorists' demands. To defeat terrorism, he writes, we must "reduce the frequency and severity of terrorist attacks."
There are good reasons to believe Bush has read this powerful and provocative book. There, Dershowitz discusses the extreme approaches to wipe out international terrorism even if the constraints of legal, moral, and humanitarian considerations are compromised. Dershowitz proposes that under these relegated constraints, his extreme proposals would reduce the frequency and severity of terrorism by striking a balance between security and liberty, such as disarmament for world's security, and invasion of the sovereignty of a free state.
Dershowitz's proposal to combat terrorism combines macro and micro approaches. The most important macro step is never permit terrorists to benefit from their acts, especially if they have specific political goals. No matter how noble those goals, they must never be allowed to advance through terrorism. This will give terrorists the message that their cause has nothing to gain, but instead has something to lose from engaging in terrorism. But benefits may be built into the system to assure serious attention to their causes that forego terrorism.
The complementary micro step, proposed by Dershowitz with which to combat terrorism, entails promulgation of new government policies, such as tightening controls over the country's borders, requiring national ID cards, establishing military tribunals, infiltrating domestic groups, spreading electronic monitoring authority, resorting to more exchanges of information among prosecutorial and intelligence agencies, and imposing restrictions on freedom of speech, etc. …