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Fighting the war on terror as we have been, though perfectly justifiable under the circumstances, also appears to result in producing more terrorists. We need to work with our allies, at home and in the Middle East, to learn how to prevent innocent children from being abused at the hands of evil men who wish them to grow up to hate so violently that their only hope for the future is to gain paradise by blowing themselves up with as many other humans as can possibly be taken with them. We need to find a way of killing the message of the jihadists and rendering it impotent to attract masses of new recruits.
The real question is whether we can persevere with little or no reciprocity, perhaps for a long time because, in my view, it is not only how many terrorists we can kill, or plots we can thwart; it is what policies we can pursue that, in the end, have the best chance of taking us to the place where we all hope to be — lasting peace.
Connie Atkinson and Thomas DiCarlo are the authors of “The Brotherhood of Purity,” a novel exploring the mind of a terrorist and whether mankind can build a world at peace.