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Free-Markets Approach to Fighting Terrorism

If a young man is gainfully and engagingly employed, perhaps he has too much to look forward to and work for to concern himself with death and mayhem.

John at Crossroads Arabia has just 'criss-crossed' Arabia. His first of several more reports to come is profoundly encouraging. He observed that "the Saudi stock market is insanely active", and gave observations that indicate that Saudi Arabia just might be the economic anti-terrorism model to follow. Arabia the Model?

I met with young Saudi women in Jeddah, all of whom were happily employed in jobs they wanted to do, though they had some ideas about how things could be improved.

I also met with some young male Saudi bloggers in Riyadh. They, too, were gainfully employed, happy with the jobs and prospects.

Meeting with a former religious extremist–now an analyst of Islamic fundamentalism–I learned that because of the opening of the economy, many would-be extremists are now too busy making money to bother with the philosophical side of things.

At the US Embassy, I heard that American officials working the issues of Saudi cooperation in fighting terrorism–and the funding of terrorism–are on the whole very happy with the level of cooperation. They do not understand criticisms of Saudi cooperation because they believe there are very few areas in which the Saudis are not cooperating fully. Where there is less than 100% cooperation, there are compelling reasons why not. They also note that the USG holds Saudi Arabia as the model to which other Arab Gulf States should aspire in their own controls.


This I think was the whole point of the Bush Doctrine. We just may succeed at draining the swamps after all.

Everyone has a different name for the same concept. Some call it freedom, social mobility, Barnett calls it connectedness, economic empowerment, whatever.

If you can buy into the global system, you won't fight against it.