David Miliband has written a sour review of the “war on terror,” challenging the worldview pushed by George W. Bush and Miliband’s former boss, Tony Blair. War is not the answer, Miliband warns. Instead, “We must respond to terrorism by championing the rule of law, not subordinating it. ... We must uphold our commitments to human rights and civil liberties at home and abroad.”
David Miliband in The Guardian:
We must respond to terrorism by championing the rule of law, not subordinating it, for it is the cornerstone of the democratic society. We must uphold our commitments to human rights and civil liberties at home and abroad. That is surely the lesson of Guantánamo and it is why we welcome President-elect Obama’s commitment to close it.
The call for a “war on terror” was a call to arms, an attempt to build solidarity for a fight against a single shared enemy. But the foundation for solidarity between peoples and nations should be based not on who we are against, but on the idea of who we are and the values we share. Terrorists succeed when they render countries fearful and vindictive; when they sow division and animosity; when they force countries to respond with violence and repression. The best response is to refuse to be cowed.