Justice is a Victim of Terror
A prime victim of the terrorist acts of September 11 is justice itself. The victimizing of justice is not just from the evil of the murder and destruction, but because the resolution of any injustice the perpetrators seek becomes blocked. Suppose the terrorists want the U.S. to stop the embargo against Iraq. If the U.S.A. were to lift the embargo, it would have succumbed to the terror, encouraging further terror. So even if this message were clear, which it is not, the U.S. could not readily do it.
by Fred E. Foldvary, Senior Editor
It is similar to the situation in Israel. Palestinian bombers want Israel to remove the settlements from the West Bank. But if Israel does this under the pressure of terror, it just invites more terror. The murder and destruction thus become self-defeating.
The immediate goal should therefore be as the U.S. government is now doing, to attempt to prevent further attacks by reducing the capabilities of the terrorists and their state allies.
In the longer run, we need to understand why these attacks take place. The terrorists have been led to believe that they are doing something good, not evil. They think the U.S. has done wrong, and deserves retaliation and revenge. Nothing the U.S. government has done excuses or justifies the evil of terror, but they think so.
The problem runs deep. Few human beings know what "good" is. Human nature contains within it a moral law, but it has to be discovered and learned, and very few are even aware of this. Now more than ever, we need to recognize that there is a universal ethic whereby it is evil to harm innocent persons. What is good is to provide welcomed benefits.
The U.S. is in a corner because if it changes policy, it rewards terror, but if it does not change policy, it perpetuates the perceived wrongs that fuel the terror. We need to overcome the corner by taking this opportunity to eliminate conflicts:
1) The U.S. government should make peace with the governments of Iran and Iraq. End the trade embargoes.
2) The U.S. should close down its military base in Saudi Arabia and move the base to the Negev desert in Israel.
3) The U.S. and its allies should insist that Israel and the Palestinian authority implement the terms that were offered by Barak as an interim agreement. The United Nations should enforce this by flooding Israel and Palestine with troops to keep the peace. Set up a confederation of Israel and Palestine, and allow Palestinians abroad to immigrate into Palestine.
4) Recognize a Commonwealth of China with Taiwan and the mainland as members, even if these governments refuse.
5) Bring Russia into NATO as an ally.
6) End all trade and travel restrictions with Cuba.
7) End all involvement in the civil war in Colombia.
The citizens of the world should realize that while they deplore this extreme terror, they and their governments perpetuate terror and injustice on smaller but wider scales. When the war on drugs sends police to break down a door and kill innocent residents, this too is terror. When a million prisoners are incarcerated for crimes with no victims, this too is evil. The War on Labor takes away by force the earnings that properly belong to the worker; this too is an evil.
Americans have wonderfully responded to the attack by pulling together, helping the recovery and aid effort, and not letting our spirit be defeated. The enemies of America keep underestimating our moral courage. The Japanese military chiefs thought they could push America with one strike in Pearl Harbor; they found out that once aroused, America is fierce enemy that will prevail. The enemies of the US again underestimate our capability and resolve.
This is indeed the 21st century war between the civilized world and the forces of terror. But it is not enough to take military action. If the civilized world does not move now to create a truly civil society, with liberty and justice for all, there will be no peace. The economist and philosopher Henry George warned of the new barbarians that arise when justice is denied. The barbarians are here, and only full justice can defeat them.
As Henry George said in Progress and Poverty, liberty will have no half-service. We must wholly accept her. "Either this, or Liberty withdraws her light!"
-- Fred Foldvary
Copyright 2001 by Fred E. Foldvary. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, which includes but is not limited to facsimile transmission, photocopying, recording, rekeying, or using any information storage or retrieval system, without giving full credit to Fred Foldvary and The Progress Report.
What are your views? Share your opinion with your fellow readers at The Progress Report:
Page One Page Two Archive Discussion Room Letters What's Geoism?