ARMED RESPONSE TO TERRORISM IS A BIG FAILURE

FAILURE #1 - Israel has for over 15 years struck back at terrorist attacks - the israelis are good fighters and often strike the terrorists very efficiently - sometimes they retaliate sloppily and many innocents die - but either way, look at Israel now: more enemies than ever, more tension, Israeli citizens living in paranoia, their liberties compromised every time they try to travel or congregate. Israel is the best example of the wrong way to approach terrorism.

FAILURE #2 - According to Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek magazine International editor, Egypt is a seething cauldron of tension. 5 years ago when a terrorist attack killed 239 people in Cairo Egypt's President Mubarac cracked down hard on terrorism. Unfortunately this crackdown is the hardest on Egypt's own citizens - loss of freedoms, any dissent gets crushed, police state in the streets - newsweek's Zakaria says that now "there is seething discontent that represents a serious danger".

 

THE POLICE STATE APPROACH IS A FAILURE The above reminds me of Los Angeles right after the Rodney King verdict - the police were worried about more riots in south Central L.A. and increased police protection (it was a "virtual state of siege" according to the L.A. Times).

The LA Times also reported that the added police mobilization the week before the Rodney King verdict in Los Angeles reduced violent crime by 12%. However, the cost for that week of relative calm was over $8 million for the additional security only, not the regular weekly police costs. The week after the verdict, major crimes sprang right back up again.**

Now compare that with the Transcendental Meditation project in 1994 in Washington D.C. where a 14 to 23 percent reduction in violent crime was achieved for less than one twelfth of the money spent per week. Suicide calls in the District were 30% less and rape hotline calls were 50% less. Also, rather than springing right back up, the crime rate took months to return to it's previous rate.

** L.A. Times: MEAN STREETS ONCE MORE FRI. APRIL 23, 1993 "After a week of relative calm, when the number of murders, robberies and major crimes dropped significantly, Los Angeles was back to normal Thursday. The corpses were stacked up at the county coroner's office; police were deluged with calls; paramedic crews were picking up the bodies after drive-by shootings." "Both the potential victims and potential perpetrators of crimes stayed inside", said Inglewood Police Sgt. Alex Perez, commenting on the virtual state of siege that week.

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