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August 27, 2002
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The book, Why Terrorism Works: Understanding the Threat, Responding to the Challenge by Alan M. Dershowitz, (the one who accused five justices of the Supreme Court of outright corruption in siding with Bush in Bush v. Gore) is reviewed by his old nemesis Judge Richard A. Posner, known best for his Cost-benefit analysis in legal issues. It's your call.
posted by semmi (7 comments total)

 
(the one who accused five justices of the Supreme Court of outright corruption in siding with Bush in Bush v. Gore)

Is this HIS claim to fame?
posted by Witty at 3:19 PM on August 27, 2002


Here's a review of Dershowitz's book on Bush v. Gore.
posted by homunculus at 4:05 PM on August 27, 2002


My favorite story of contested book reviews came from Jeane (Jeanneane?) Kirkpatrick reviewing Al Franken's Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observatons. Kirkpatrick wrote this scathing piece on Franken's book, to which Franken wrote a letter to the editor of the Times Book Review asking why she was allowed to review it in the first place, as he had always though it was a policy of the Times to not allow the former lovers of authors to review their books. I can't think of a funnier way for an author to lambaste their negative review. It beats calling your editor "Girly-boys" any day.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:13 PM on August 27, 2002


Does terrorism work? That is a basic but difficult problem, now isn't it? It does work in the sense of bringing terror to your enemies, and making terror cheap. Nations spend billions of dollars committing acts of terror with f-16s, tanks and bombs. We call these acts "military actions." Terror works because it's use causes serious damage, without using many resources, against a superior military establishment. We call this "terrorism"

But terror does not work in the court of world opinion. A nation, or a movement within a nation, needs foreign allies and supporters. Terrorism, in short, is a PR buzzkill. At best nobody will deal with you, at worst US smart bombs are going to start falling on your mother's thatched hut.

I don't agree with terror but I do try to see how a dangerous distinction is being made:
Bombs fall from plane into apartment building = military action
Bomb delivered by bicycle to a checkpoint = terrorism

terror, terrorism, are much broader terms then we want them to be.
posted by elwoodwiles at 5:19 PM on August 27, 2002


There's just nothing like a positive but condescending review. Oh, how I miss academia.
posted by goethean at 6:07 PM on August 27, 2002


The distinction is still a valid one however. Military actions may cause civilian casualties but in nearly all modern instances (lets not bring up Dresden) civilian deaths are not the aim of military action. Terrorism is defined by precisely this aim.
And regarding the book writtten above, I didn't read the whole review but it would seem to me that the efficacy of terrorism is self-evident - Israel's bloody terrorist campaign against the British mandate in Palestine was crucial to the UN decision to end it. It does work, we just don't like to think it does.
posted by pots at 8:00 AM on August 28, 2002


does it count as a repost if it was in the comments?
posted by Espoo2 at 1:47 PM on August 28, 2002


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