If ideas died with people, America would have won the fight against modern-day terrorism by killing al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden. If killing people were the only answer , then America would have won the day with the invasion of Iraq, or the war in Afghanistan, or with drone attacks.
Ending terrorism isn’t just about killing people. It’s about defeating ideas. And if we are truly committed to creating an America that is safe from terrorism, the strategy, in my view, is a simple one: We must stand up for the principles we claim to hold dear.
If we believe in the cause of freedom, then we must stand for it unabashedly. Not with disingenuous self-interest, but with a true commitment to the ideal.
That means supporting freedom even when it’s uncomfortable. It means knowing that some countries will not embrace democracy. It means realizing that we are not always right.
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