nyrob - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • jj burke
    • 04.02.10 | 12:50 (IST)

    A moderate, light policy runs against a natural tendency to invest extravagantly in defending against even minor threats to our national security (the reverse of our systematic tendency to "lowball," i.e., to undercompensate for, or underprice, risk in our banking system or the environment). This partly reflects a general, ancient view of the "night watchman" state, involved not in internal regulation but in security. It is partly because terrorism seems a much more immediate and horrifying prospect than financial collapse, climate change, or threats to food security and is more directly linked to loss of life (even if the other issues ultimately may kill many more people). And our culture puts a very high value on life (though a higher value on the lives of our own citizens than on those of other nationals). We would prefer, therefore, to believe that any war in which we engage is a vital threat to our very existence?in which case the odds of victory are irrelevant and any sacrifice is justified. And there must be a defined end. It would be difficult for a president to argue that we should sacrifice lives without winning in order to prevent something worse (although we build dams when we can't control the flow of water and employ a police force when we can't end crime).

    from the article: Fear of peace will be the death of Israel
    First published 12:48 03.02.10 | Last updated 12:48 03.02.10
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