Friday, July 07, 2006

No wonder I'm not a terrorist...

How do you stop young men from becoming terrorists?

Marry 'em off.

No kidding. In an experiment with violent PLO radicals, desperate peacemakers tried a new strategy:
So approximately a hundred of these beautiful young women were brought to Beirut. There, in a sort of PLO version of a college mixer, boy met girl, boy fell in love with girl, boy would, it was hoped, marry girl. There was an additional incentive, designed to facilitate not just amorous connections but long-lasting relationships. The hundred or so Black Septemberists were told that if they married these women, they would be paid $3,000; given an apartment in Beirut with a gas stove, a refrigerator, and a television; and employed by the PLO in some nonviolent capacity. Any of these couples that had a baby within a year would be rewarded with an additional $5,000.
The results were astonishing. And also a little depressing for those of us with X-chromosomes. How simple are we?

Another angle might be to give them a small business loan.
It has been said that when goods cross borders, armies don't. Today, China and India are the world's two largest countries racing toward entrepreneurial capitalism. They are the example and test of that thesis. Several decades ago, their armies clashed. Now no one talks of war, only of their economic emergence. Capitalism has promoted peace and, in China, better — though still inadequate — respect for rights.
Better yet, do both. How much time would you have to be a terrorist with 2 kids and a payment every month?

No comments: