- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 15, 2002

In a recent column for The Washington Post, Jordan's King Abdullah essayed Islam's core ideals, which he identified as compassion, good will and respect for others.
His plea for compassion and respect referenced one of the three assassinations that deeply scar the Israeli-Palestinian turmoil, the 1951 murder of his great-grandfather, Abdullah I the two other high-impact murders being those of Egypt's Anwar Sadat and Israel's Yitzhak Rabin. King Abdullah wrote: "Long before so-called Islamic terrorists began attacking the West, they were targeting fellow Muslims. The goal was to silence opposition and obliterate the Islam of peace and dialogue."
Extremists who rejected respect and dialogue believed Abdullah I would make peace with Israel. The murder of Rabin by an Israeli religious fanatic was a vicious mirror of this evil.
State terror statecraft by fear rules in far too many corners of this planet, Iraq and North Korea as patent examples. The tool of fear, as the assassinations in comparatively open states like Jordan and Israel illustrate, also thwarts moderation. Moderates literally live under the gun, fearing reprisal and death.
Poverty does not create terrorists that's a falsehood and a smear. However, theft of wealth and development denied inevitably seed resentment, the spark terror's masters know how to stoke. Corruption and stolen opportunity stalk the streets and hard corners where terrorists recruit.
The rule of law eventually punishes and minimizes corruption and theft, which is one reason democracy is a strategic weapon against terrorism. The democratic rule of law ultimately frees a public from murderous extremists. Instead of calling the shots, the thugs land in jail. It's not utopia, but it's justice.
A month ago, I wrote a column that noted the attack on the World Trade Center was an attack on the world that created the United Nations. Somewhere even the dictators and autocrats who send ambassadors to dialogue with ambassadors from free states know that to be true. The U.N. is one result of steady, increasing, inexorable globalization the trend that puts McDonald's in Moscow, that puts Colombian flowers on the altar of my church in Texas, that brings Hong Kong's South China Post to the Internet, that brings the BBC to Zimbabwe, that makes Taliban shenanigans in Afghanistan potent security matters in Manhattan.
Osama bin Laden rejects globalization. Sure, he digs the Internet and loves high-tech weapons, but the "open world" globalization offers threatens extremist zealots. Bin Laden and other rejectionists long for "closed worlds" closed societies where their sole interpretation of the Koran, of Marx, of the Gospel of John, of Shona or of Serb tribal tradition utterly dominates.
Religious absolutists, ethnic zealots and ultranationalists reject "the new rules" of cooperation and compromise globalization entails these organized forms of good will and respect, to use King Abdullah's words.
Bin Laden's hatred for globalization explains in part why left-wing "anti-globalists" and professorial cranks wedged in academia find oddball common cause with his Islamic imperialism. Their utopias are perfections that do not allow compromise, much less McDonald's.
September 11, then, is another battle between "open-connected systems," the type which link globally, and "closed-isolated systems."
And it's why globalization is a strategic means for defeating the bin Ladens present and future.
To a large degree, it's a strategy that pushes Washington more than Washington initiates, but furthering the process of globalization around the world, in terms of free communications, free trade and democratic political structures. In other words, giving people the freedom to choose and protecting their right to do it must be part of America's War on Terror.
Free trade and free economies central components of globalization are the means of relieving mass endemic poverty. Terrorists and dictators are no longer the "best bad choice" of the desperate.
Extending globalization into the hard corners, the Somalias and Colombias, thus becomes a grand strategy for improving 21st-century security. And it's another reason the departments of Treasury, Justice and Commerce, the U.S. Agency for International Development and, for that matter, McDonald's and the BBC, are key to truly defeating global terrorism.

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