- Mass Market Paperback: 254 pages
- Publisher: Avon Books (Mm) (April 1987)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0380703211
- ISBN-13: 978-0380703210
- Package Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,680,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Terrorism: How the West Can Win Mass Market Paperback – April, 1987
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Benjamin Netanyahu's "Terrorism: How the West Can Win" is a dated but still relevant work. Originally written in 1986 it is amazing how much in this book has come to be. And how the U.S. eleven years into the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) still struggles with points discussed in this book. The final chapter, an essay by the author, whose brother was killed commanding the Entebbe raid, leading an elite Israeli strike force., has been often quoted and excerpted as perhaps the strongest public policy argument for a broad gauge use of stringent measures against terrorism, including economic blockade, denial of airline access, and use of military vs. police elements for selected counter-terrorism operations. Overall not to bad of a book.
Those who support terrorism tend to reply that actually, those who fight terrorism are the terrorists. And that the real question to ask is "what drives such good people to commit acts Netanyahu calls 'terrorism?'" And the most famous line, that one Man's terrorist is another Man's freedom fighter. Um, right. And one Woman's cat is another Woman's dog, I suppose! A better analogy might be that one person's policeman is another person's robber. Well, there is a difference between terrorists and those who oppose them. And it is counterproductive to give in to terrorist demands. That is what this book is about.
There are over three dozen contributors. George Shultz focuses on the need for better intelligence. I agree: that would have helped avert 9/11. Benzion Netanyhau points out that the PLO can't be freedom fighters, given that they fight for oppression rather than against it. Paul Johnson says we must have courage to deny hiding places to terrorists. Daniel Moynahan explains that there is a justification to go after terrorists internationally, given that terrorism opposes both freedom and human rights. Alain Bescancon shows how Russian terrorists in the 1870s obtained public support. Leszek Kowalski says that state-supported terror is simply war and ought to be treated as such. Jeane Kirkpatrick argues that terrorist victories lead to the establishment of totalitarian states.
There is a section on Islamic terrorism. Bernard Lewis tells us about the Assassins. It's worth remembering that their goals were arbitrary and are long forgotten. After that, we see the connection between domestic terror and international terrorism. Then there is a section on international terrorism. Jillian Becker tells us about how Europeans could come to Lebanon as guests of the PLO, be given rifles, shoot some civilians with impunity just for fun, and go home without any fear of reprisals.
Perhaps the most important section is on terrorism and the media. Charles Krauthammer explains how the terrorists have made those in the media "partners in crime." And he advises that the media at least avoid romancing terror. John O'Sullivan wants to deny publicity to terrorists. And Lord Chalfont reminds those in the media that when the terrorists win, the first freedom that will be taken away will be that of the press. A short panel discussion of terror and the media is at the end of the book.
The following section deals with the legality of fighting terror, including rights of "hot pursuit." Meir Shamgar recommends an international convention against terrorism. After that, there are articles about domestic terrorism and global terrorism. Alan Cranston discusses the threat of nuclear terrorist states. Yitzhak Rabin recommends starting a U.S.-led international agency against terrorism. Midge Decter warns us that if we lose the battle to the terrorists, those in the future will not say of us that we were too noble and good to fight. They'll say we were too morally lazy to keep freedom alive for them. Jack Kemp reminds us not to draw a false symmetry between us and those who terrorize us. Benjamin Netanyahu has an important point to make: the more scared we are of civilian casualties, the more terrorists will attack civilians and use civilians as shields. And the net result may well be even more civilian casualties.
This is an excellent book and I highly recommend it.
If the leaders of countries victimized by terrorism had implemented the measures advocated in this volume, terrorism would be doomed and the vicious attack on the US on Black Tuesday would never have happened.
"There are some low-level oddities about this book that should be noted quickly. Very few efforts are made to convince readers of what is being said: sources and figures are never cited; abstractions and generalizations pop up everywhere; and, except for three essays on Islam, historical argument is limited to the single proposition that terrorism has never before presented such a threat to "the democracies.' I was also struck that the verb in the book's subtitle, How the West Can Win, doesn't seem to have an object: Win what? one wonders. So great is the number of contributors, so hortatory the tone, so confident and many the assertions, that in the end you retain little of what has been said, except that you had better get on with the fight against terrorism, whatever Netanyahu says it is."
The review can be found on The Nation
When one reflects on the overly matured influence that neo-conservatives have on current decision-making, combined with the direct neo-convervative link to Israel, the only questions left are, "Exactly how much priority do Israeli concerns receive in American foreign policy?" & "Why?"