Monday, August 16, 2004

America should be sensitive to other cultures when using military force.

Why you're right:

1. Insensitivity breeds more terrorists. When American forces attack without regard to cultural sensitivities it can make enemies of individuals who would otherwise support America's effort. This is the reason why American forces are showing restraint in combating forces loyal to Moqtada Sadr in the Iraqi holy city of Najaf. Attacking the city full bore risks damaging holy shrines which would have increased the popularity of Sadr among locals. (Washington Post)

2. Insensitivity makes it harder for other nations to help. Moderate Islamic nations such as Turkey and Jordan can play a key role in reducing the burden of U.S. troops in Iraq. But if the U.S. conducts itself in a way that is insensitive to Islamic mores, it makes it more politically difficult for such nations to offer assistance.

Why they're wrong:

We will not destroy international terrorist networks by being macho. We will do so by making smart strategic decisions. Ignoring the ramifications of pursuing a specific course of action isn't tough, it's brainless.