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           See The Exhibition Online, And Order Your Catalog.

Word eloquence is not the first string on my guitar. Therefore, I found
these words helpful in capturing my concerns and pass them on to folk who
have not read the NY times. I believe artists to be in the forefront as a
venue for discovery and offering meaning and clarity regarding difficult
issues. Therefore, posting this article on a book list seems appropriate
this week.

Smoking or Non-Smoking?

JERUSALEM -- If this attack on America by an extensive terrorist
cell is the equivalent of World War III, it's not too early to
begin thinking about what could be its long-term geopolitical
consequences. Just as World Wars I and II produced new orders and
divisions, so too might this war. What might it look like?

 Israel's foreign minister, Shimon Peres, offers the following
possibility: Several decades ago, he notes, they discovered that
smoking causes cancer. Soon after that, people started to demand
smoking and non-smoking sections. "Well, terrorism is the cancer of
our age," says Mr. Peres. "For the past decade, a lot of countries
wanted to deny that, or make excuses for why they could go on
dealing with terrorists. But after what's happened in New York and
Washington, now everyone knows. This is a cancer. It's a danger to
us all. So every country must now decide whether it wants to be a
smoking or non-smoking country, a country that supports terrorism
or one that doesn't."

 Mr. Peres is on to something - this sort of division is going to
emerge - but we must be very, very careful about how it is done,
and whom we, the U.S., assign to the smoking and non-smoking

 As Mr. Peres himself notes, this is not a clash of civilizations -
the Muslim world versus the Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and Jewish
worlds. The real clash today is actually not between civilizations,
but within them - between those Muslims, Christians, Hindus,
Buddhists and Jews with a modern and progressive outlook and those
with a medieval one. We make a great mistake if we simply write off
the Muslim world and fail to understand how many Muslims feel
themselves trapped in failing states and look to America as a model
and inspiration.

 "President Lincoln said of the South after the Civil War:
'Remember, they pray to the same God,'" remarked the Middle East
analyst Stephen P. Cohen. "The same is true of many, many Muslims.
We must fight those among them who pray only to the God of Hate,
but we do not want to go to war with Islam, with all the millions
of Muslims who pray to the same God we do."

 The terrorists who hit the U.S. this week are people who pray to
the God of Hate. Their terrorism is not aimed at reversing any
specific U.S. policy. Indeed, they made no demands. Their terrorism
is driven by pure hatred and nihilism, and its targets are the
institutions that undergird America's way of life, from our markets
to our military.

 These terrorists must be rooted out and destroyed. But it must be
done in a way that doesn't make us Osama bin Laden's chief
recruiter. Because these Muslim terrorists did not just want to
kill Americans. That is not the totality of their mission. These
people think strategically. They also want to trigger the sort of
massive U.S. retaliation that makes no distinction between them and
other Muslims. That would be their ultimate victory - because they
do see the world as a clash of civilizations, and they want every
Muslim to see it that way as well and to join their jihad.

 Americans were really only able to defeat Big Tobacco when
whistleblowers within the tobacco industry went public and took on
their own industry, and their own bosses, as peddlers of cancer.
Similarly, the only chance to really defeat these nihilistic
terrorists is not just by bombing them. That is necessary, but not
sufficient, because another generation will sprout up behind them.
Only their own religious communities and societies can really
restrain and delegitimize them. And that will happen only when the
Muslim majority recognizes that what the Osama bin Ladens are
leading to is the destruction and denigration of their own religion
and societies.

 This civil war within Islam, between the modernists and the
medievalists, has actually been going on for years - particularly
in Egypt, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Pakistan. We need to
strengthen the good guys in this civil war. And that requires a
social, political and economic strategy, as sophisticated, and
generous, as our military one.

 To not retaliate ferociously for this attack on our people is only
to invite a worse attack tomorrow and an endless war with
terrorists. But to retaliate in a way that doesn't distinguish
between those who pray to a God of Hate and those who pray to the
same God we do is to invite an endless war between civilizations -
a war that will land us all in the smoking section.


Ann E. Grasso

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