And to be clear, this is not meant as a replacement for the campaign to stop terrorists. Immediate acts must be stopped and prevented. But in complementary fashion if this plan is successful, it removes the fertile ground for terrorism. As well, at its best if the Balkans might serve as an illustration (the tide turning against Milosevic), the people may come to recognize how such people, whether as terrorists or despots, almost destroyed their country and culture and may hand such people over themselves.
It is a massive infusion of resources to help the local people rebuild
their ravaged country. It must make use of the best current insights.
As such the chief gauge should be Well-being
; and it should abide by the best current development principles and strategies
( Development principles ).
a. It is not a hand-out but a hand-up. Initially due to the threat of starvation, pure aid will need to be continued. But the real focus is on capacity-building – the ability of the people to determine their own future, implying that basic food, shelter, economic, ecosystem and governance structures are in place to support that.
b. It must be done via dialogue as equals. This engenders healthy long-term relations and avoids a paternalistic “we know best” syndrome. They know what they need in general although the solutions should be considered in light of the best insights of the international development community. It must not be an automatic transplanting of our culture.
The more directly the contact and actions are local, the less likely the
chances of corruption, etc. There are arenas that need government-to-government
action, such as infrastructure. But programs like micro-credit, sustainable
agriculture, etc are best handled in an NGO-like fashion, connecting straight
with the local people.
It must have prior communication channels with the local people. Interpretation
of any effort is crucial and is prone to being twisted by those who have
already warped the solid tenets of Islam.
It needs the support of the government. This is biggest difference from
the context of the original Marshall Plan. Pre-Sept 11 Afghan leadership
was quite entrenched. Any act of genuine concern would be viewed with suspicion
and likely hostility. But in post-Sept 11 light, they may nonetheless consider
it more desirable than other looming possibilities. Of course such coercion
(looming big stick) leads to resentment, and normal intense diplomacy should
be tried first to try to induce reasonableness into the picture.
It is the right thing to do: if you want a more caring, respectful world,
then be that way. This doesn’t mean turning a blind eye to terrorists.
It means a two-level strategy. Immediate violent situations must be stopped
– here terrorists- and also attention must be taken to address the root
2. From a purely strategic viewpoint: it doesn’t follow the terrorist script. The attack in New York is only one step in the terrorist plan. They intend that we will retaliate, and will do so in a manner which inflames ordinary people on their side of the world, thereby strengthening their power. Through interviews, bin Laden has indicated a couple of separate goals, of which one is nothing short of an eventual grand United States – Islamic global confrontation, in which the US will finally fall.
To be clear I must state that we should never see this as anything other than a dangerous person/group using warped views of Islam (basic genuine Islam being one of the fine world religions). But the point is that if this goal is correct, and if he is truly a demented genius, then he will already have in place mechanisms to inflame the people upon innocent casualties, and who knows what else farther down the line. One has to blindside him with something so disconnected from his script and with something that usurps his logic and rhetoric.