George Ignatieff was a diplomat and chief of staff to the prime minister under Lester Bowles Pearson. At the age of 11, Ignatieff was sent back to Toronto to attend Upper Canada College as a boarder in He resumed his work for the Liberal Party in , as a national youth organizer and party delegate for the Pierre Elliott Trudeau party leadership campaign. After completing his undergraduate degree, Ignatieff took up his studies at the University of Oxford , where he studied under, and was influenced by, the famous liberal philosopher Sir Isaiah Berlin , whom he would later write about. While an undergraduate at the University of Toronto, he was a part-time reporter for The Globe and Mail in — He was granted a Cambridge M.
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Reviews 2 Must we fight terrorism with terror, match assassination with assassination, and torture with torture? In the age of terrorism, the temptations of ruthlessness can be overwhelming. But we are pulled in the other direction too by the anxiety that a violent response to violence makes us morally indistinguishable from our enemies.
There is perhaps no greater political challenge today than trying to win the war against terror without losing our democratic souls. Ignatieff argues that we must not shrink from the use of violence — that far from undermining liberal democracy, force can be necessary for its survival. But its use must be measured, not a program of torture and revenge. And we must not fool ourselves that whatever we do in the name of freedom and democracy is good. In making this case, Ignatieff traces the modern history of terrorism and counter-terrorism, from the nihilists of Czarist Russia and the militias of Weimar Germany to the IRA and the unprecedented menace of Al Qaeda, with its suicidal agents bent on mass destruction.
He shows how the most potent response to terror has been force, decisive and direct, but — just as important — restrained. In a surgical analysis he describes the challenges facing their leaders and citizens. His warning of the critical dangers of under- and over-reaction in combating terrorism could not be more timely. His answer is a profound moral analysis, drawing on insights from philosophy, law, and literature, of how to surmount the strength of the terrorists, who are weak, and avoid the weakness of the democracies, who can be both strong and just.
May 2, I. Even so, we have not begun to ask the really hard questions. The hardest one is, Could we actually lose the war on terror? Consider the consequences of a second major attack on the mainland United States -- the detonation of a radiological or dirty bomb, perhaps, or a low-yield nuclear device or a chemical strike in a subway. After such an attack, a pall of mourning, melancholy, anger and fear would hang over our public life for a generation. An attack of this sort is already in the realm of possibility.
Historical context[ edit ] This book was written in to address questions of human rights and humanitarian policy which arose as a result of the issues surrounding the War on Terror , particularly with regard to the US foreign policies of the time including the detention of terrorist suspects without trial at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Publication history[ edit ] The book is based on a series of six lectures that Ignatieff gave at the University of Edinburgh in as part of the Gifford Lectures. The book was initially published in hardcover form in ,  then in in paperback by Edinburgh University Press. To balance this necessary erosion of liberal freedoms and rights, Ignatieff presents a framework of judicial review, executive and Congressional oversight, free debate and limits on interrogation. It may also require coercion, secrecy, deception, even violation of rights To defeat evil, we may have to traffic in evils: indefinite detention of suspects, coercive interrogations, targeted assassinations, even pre-emptive war. Sources[ edit ] De Wijze, Stephen A.