Though I rarely speak about it, this is one of the reasons why I would rather not live in New York City. We live in danger here because of the political beliefs of fools. The useless wars Americans fight will only endanger us further. Every day we fight in Iraq, we ourselves commit the murder of the Americans later killed by terrorists. It is simple cause and effect, though it flatters our vanity to pretend that we have no part in the guilt for what we create.
I do not thereby mean to suggest that the terrorists are right: nothing seems more plain than that they are not. What I suggest is that discussions of right and wrong are trivial here as they are so often elsewhere: cause and effect are concepts worth ten thousands time what right and wrong are worth if one’s goal is to improve the lives of human beings. Our situation is one of the simplest causality: if you oppress a people, they will rebel. If you oppress a people to the point where death is more desirable than life, they will become suicide warriors.
If we wish to end terrorism, war is not the answer: wealth is. The cure for fanaticism is not destruction, but happiness. The excesses of religion do not survive in countries where people live happily.