Saturday, May 26, 2007

An old conversation

Nearly a year ago, brothers A-A talked about the most effective way of fighting terrorists. This follow-up conversation was not posted then.

Amar: Don't jump the gun just yet about the terrorist attacks — last month (July 2006) 250 policemen [!] raided a Desi home in London because of an imminent chemical terrorist attack. It was headlines in every newspaper and TV channel. A week later they were released without charges.

Anthony: I definitely don't think cops need extra powers or we need draconian laws like the Patriot Act or anything like that. However, to the extent that more budgets are likely to lead to smaller number of mistakes, the marginal anti-terrorism dollar is better spent on cops than armies.

Amar: But wait, the tip off (to a planned terrorist attack) really seems to have come from Pakistan originally. So may be the dollar is even better spent on cultivating good relationships with the bad guys — ISI, Iran, whatever — who hang out with the worse guys?

Amar is absolutely right. At the very least, we don’t lose anything by talking.