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EDITORIAL: Money talks against terrorism

- The Washington Times - Monday, May 11, 2009

EDITORIAL:

Americans can fight the war on terror by stopping businesses from investing in terror-sponsoring states. There have been two major victories in this battle this month.

On May 1, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels signed a law that divests his state's public pension systems from companies doing business with the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Syrian Arab Republic. Indiana previously divested from the Islamic Republic of Sudan in 2007. In Florida, both legislative chambers passed an even stronger divestment law. Gov. Charlie Crist has pledged to sign it.

The Florida law requires Florida's police and firefighters' pension funds to withdraw their money from firms with active business ties to Iran and Sudan, and it requires the state to provide a "terror-free" investment option for state employees participating in Florida's defined-contribution retirement plan.

Indiana and Florida are joining an honor roll of other states, including California, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, that have adopted laws to divest. The divestment effort is being catalyzed by a group called Divest Terror, which is a subsidiary of the D.C.-based Center for Security Policy.

"The cumulative effect has been to withhold billions of dollars ... to take away the corporate life support for the ayatollahs and other terrorist nations," said Divest Terror's director, Christopher Holton. "And state legislators are empowering themselves to say to the terrorists, 'No, not with our taxpayers' money, no way.' "

These admirable efforts demonstrate how Americans across the country can take the fight to terrorist states, no matter what policies emanate from the nation's capital.