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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

January 08, 2003

Is Force the Answer?

According to Shlomo ben Ami the Foreign Minister in Barak's government in his recent article Force Won't Work the only thing that 9/11 changed was to give a government without a mandate and a purpose, both.

As he puts it,"Osama bin Laden saved the Bush administration from flailing around in a morass of irrelevance."
We are dealing with Islamic civilization which for centuries has failed in finding its way to socioeconomic modernity or democracy; a civilization that has not been able to develop a civic society and freedom of speech, and which is rebelling now against globalization perceived as the reflection of American cultural hegemony.

No force of any kind will solve the complex problems of Islam and Muslim societies. This was as true before September 11 as it is now:
He nixes democracy as the solution because it will only lead to another dictatorship, either secular or Islamic. His article which is very long but it is well worth the time because it describes in complex terms what's going on in the world today. I can't agree with his solution but his description of the problem gives much food for thought.

Ted Belman tedbel@rogers.com