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The irrationality of terror

September 8th, 2004

A lot of discussion of terrorism is based on the assumption that, however morally deplorable it may be, it’s effective. I don’t think this is true – terrorism generally harms the causes it supposedly seeks to advance. Anne Applebaum points to the kinds of evidence that convince me of this, notably the counterproductive effects of Palestinian terrorism. (I’d also mention the IRA, which has achieved less in 30 years of terrorism than could have been obtained if peaceful civil rights agitation had been maintained for a few years in the 1970s).

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