On Sunday, February 22nd we discussed a recent article published in the Wall Street Journal by Secretary of State John Kerry wherein Mr. Kerry discussed vague claims to prevent and counter violent extremism. As we dive further in to this article we continue to read about the Secretary’s statement on approach as follows:
We’ve combated violent extremism before. We know there are tools that work. We also know the power of the international community to make positive progress when we’ve come together to combat other challenges, such as when we combined our efforts most recently to fight Ebola.
Kerry only offers a statement on “violent extremism” that he purports as both fact and conclusion. However, his example of Ebola where the world has worked together to “combat other challenges” is appropriate – though not for the argument Kerry is trying to make. In fact, Ebola is a perfect example of the prospective failure of Kerry’s policy; i.e. to eliminate a disease it must be clearly identified.
Suppose we substitute for the name Ebola the phrase “violent disease” so as to be polite and not offend. How would we eradicate such a vague disease? To “degrade and ultimately destroy” a parasitic disease requires its isolation and intimate knowledge of its strengths and weaknesses. To know what it is and classify its components in detail is critical to its extinction.
There is no difference in a deadly disease and deadly behavior that threatens civil society. Both can cross borders and both kill innocents. Eradication can only be achieved from knowing the disease you are fighting.