Pubdate: Tue, 09 Oct 2001
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Section: Editorials & Opinion
Copyright: 2001 The Seattle Times Company
Author: Helen Gabel

Letters To The Editor


Will the war on terrorism be more successful than the war on drugs? Not if 
all our resources are poured into military solutions without addressing 
root causes.

What has the war on drugs actually achieved? We now have the largest penal 
colony in the world, risky international interventions and a blighted 
underclass - with little or no reduction in actual drug use. Treatment 
programs, which have a highly studied and proven track record, are 
virtually ignored.

A war on terrorism that focuses primarily on a military response is likely 
to fail in similar ways. The conditions which produce terrorists, such as 
unconscionable poverty, human-rights abuses, and the need to protect our 
oil source at all costs, must also be addressed. Otherwise we will face an 
endless supply of enemies, both within and without.

There may well be a role for the judicious use of protective force. But a 
policy which focuses mostly on military intervention and domestic 
surveillance is likely to result in eroded freedom at home and increased 
resentment abroad - with no gain in actual safety.

Helen Gabel
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