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Posted on August 1, 2004. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Last fall I was asked why we should give convicted terrorists the full protection of the law and the Geneva Conventions. I had an unconvincing answer – that they might be innocent. A better answer is that we are secure in the knowledge that we are acting justly and they are not; that they are wrong to resort to terrorism. Should we not treat them as human beings, then we are denying their humanity and thusly initiating a cycle of violence whereby former moderates are revolted by our inhuman actions and then feel justified in joining with the radicals and resorting to terrorist measures. There is such a cycle of violence in Palestine and no obvious way out. But in south africa, there was no similar cycle and the moral unambiguity helped to rally world opinion and resolve the problem more quickly.

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