Wednesday, July 27, 2005

An Excellent Debate

While I could use the Internet to listen to NPR more often, my only experiences of doing so of late occur while I am driving near the US border. Today I was.
I tuned in somewhat inadvertently to the last 20 minutes of a very intelligent discussion of the current round of bombings, involving Bruce Hoffman, Robert Pape, and Fareed Zakaria. These gentlemen have all spent a good deal of their intelligences studying 'terrorism', and draw from current events somewhat different lessons, especially about what might be done to avoid future attacks, and the causes of the current ones. The discussion can be found and heard here.
It is refreshing to hear three quite intelligent close observers of the current conflict debating about their differences, and the callers in to the show and responses to them were excellent. Everyone sees the same facts, but also sees different overall meanings.
As I have noted in earlier posts it is poignant and relevant to hear Muslims who call in not recognizing their own religion as any justification for violent extremism; this is a key element in defining the internal battle going on in that religion, and it is commented on well by the interlocutors.
For me Zakaria has the broadest and fullest vision of the battle the West is in, but everyone in the discussion has much to say that is useful and reasonably persuasive. Zakaria is one of the delights I have discovered on US news television, and I only wish that a Canadian network had someone who is his match in intelligence and breadth.


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