Anyone with an opinion on ISIS and Syrian refugees should read the foreign policy article by Georgetown University law professor Rosa Brooks. The Guardian has a good summary too.

Brooks lists 10 counterterrorism truths politicians won’t tell us.

1: We can’t keep the bad guys out.

2: Besides, the threat is already inside.

3: More surveillance won’t get rid of terrorism, either.

4: Defeating the Islamic State won’t make terrorism go away.

5: Terrorism still remains a relatively minor threat, statistically speaking.

6: But don’t relax too much because things will probably get worse before they get better.

7: Meanwhile, poorly planned Western actions can make things still worse.

8: Terrorism is a problem to be managed, not conquered.

9: To do this, however, we need to move beyond the political posturing that characterizes most public debates about counterterrorism and instead speak honestly about the costs and benefits of different approaches.

10: We need to stop rewarding terrorism.

Brooks expands on all of these, but specifically on point 10. “From the Islamic State’s perspective, the Paris attacks are working, too. The anti-refugee backlash will aid Islamic State recruiting. … The more the West flails around with talk of bombs and border guards and police, the happier the Islamic State becomes.”

Meanwhile, Senator Mark Kirk has spent $180,000 on a statewide fear-mongering TV ad attacking his likely challenger, veteran Army helicopter pilot Tammy Duckworth — who lost both legs in Iraq — saying Duckworth won’t keep us safe from terrorists disguised as Syrian refugees.

It’s reprehensible and irresponsible: Kirk knows Syrian refugee fear-mongering will help ISIS recruitment, not to mention increase the chance of violence against law-abiding American Muslims. But his re-election is more important. Spending $180,000 on ads that aided ISIS recruitment would get most of us a visit from the FBI, if not arrested.

Howard Hansen

Forest Park

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