Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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Nov 16th, 2010

Britain’s Top Soldier: We Cannot Defeat Al-Qaida

He tells newspaper that it can only be contained and will be 30-year threat

General Sir David Richards (Photo: David Rose / The Sunday Telegraph)
General Sir David Richards, new head of Britain’s armed forces, said the threat posed by “al-Qaeda and its affiliates” meant Britain’s national security would be at risk for at least 30 years. (Photo credit: David Rose / The Sunday Telegraph)
Nov. 14, 2010 

LONDON — The new head of Britain’s armed forces says that the West cannot defeat al-Qaida but that defeating it is “unnecessary” because it can be contained.

In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Gen. David Richards said al-Qaida would pose a threat to Britain’s national security for at least 30 years. But he argued that the terrorist group could be managed to allow security for the British people.

“In conventional war, defeat and victory is very clear cut and is symbolized by troops marching into another nation’s capital,” Richards was quoted as saying. “First of all you have to ask: do we need to defeat it [Islamist militancy] in the sense of a clear cut victory? I would argue that it is unnecessary and would never be achieved.

“But can we contain it to the point that our lives and our children’s lives are led securely? I think we can.”

He said “education and democracy” should be used as weapons against al-Qaida, the Sunday Telegraph reported. …


Related report

Britain’s top soldier says al-Qaeda cannot be beaten
(Sean Rayment, The Sunday Telegraph, Nov. 13, 2010) 


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — November 16, 2009

Bachmann Headlines British Press

Michele Bachmann gestures as she speaks at the Republican National Convention in 2008. (Photo: Paul Sancya / AP)
Michele Bachmann gestures as she speaks at the Republican National Convention in 2008. (Photo credit: Paul Sancya / AP)

One year ago today, I featured excerpts from an article by Paul Harris, New York-based correspondent for The Observer and The Guardian, supplemented with annotated commentary regarding Rep. Michele Bachmann.


FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — November 16, 2008

Obama Racist Backlash

Image: Obama racism
University of Alabama professor Marsha L. Houston posted a message against racism on Thursday after someone defaced a previous poster of President-elect Barack Obama and his family with a death threat and racial slur in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Photo credit: Jay Reeves / AP)

Two years ago today, on Nov. 16, 2008, I reported that racial incidents around the country referring to President-elect Barack Obama are shattering the post-election illusion of racial progress and harmony, highlighting the stubborn racism that remains in America. There have been “hundreds” of incidents since the election, many more than usual, said Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate crimes.

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