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The Paris terror attacks were barbaric but also startling, leading many to ask what could be done to prevent this kind of terrorism in the future.
Well, one man has a clear answer. "That attack you saw in Paris? You'll see an attack in the United States," Senator John McCain told the New York Times. Elaborating on how to stop this from happening, he explained to the Times and to CNN that it would require a more aggressive American military strategy across the greater Middle East, with a no-fly zone and ground troops in Syria and more troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This theory was sometimes described during the Iraq war as, "We fight them there so we don't have to fight them here."
It was wrong then and it's wrong now.
Watch the video for the full Take or read the Washington Post column
Fareed speaks with Doug Saunders, an international affairs columnist for 'The Globe and Mail' and the author of 'The Myth of the Muslim Tide: Do Immigrants Threaten the West?' about the question of whether there is widespread anger among Muslims in Europe. Watch the full interview on GPS this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN.
What about the general idea that these immigrants, that Muslim immigrants in Europe, are angry, that they are angry with the world, angry with the fact that the world isn't of their making, that the West is sort of the dominant power, that there is a kind of rage, a Muslim rage in Europe?
No. We do need to understand that there obviously are some people among that community who are very angry. The people who are committing anti-Semitic attacks and attacks on journalists and acts of terrorism – these are obviously individuals who are motivated by anger.
The question is, does that reflect the community around them? Is that born out of the community around them, or is that something that's imported, that's a foreign value that they've adopted as a political movement?
And what's interesting is that Muslim communities in Europe, despite being marginalized economically and educationally, tend to be among the most contented with their lives of any minority group, often more so than the general population. There's not a measurable level of discontentment with the society around them or with the lives they lead among Muslims in Europe compared to other groups. It simply isn't something that exists in the larger population.
Fareed speaks with former CIA Director Leon Panetta about how the U.S. should respond to the recent terrorist attack in Paris. Watch the full interview on GPS this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN.
There are a lot of people who feel that the United States doesn't face quite the same danger, partly because, as you say, we've got oceans and watch lists. But also because the Muslim population in the United States is much more thoroughly assimilated than in Europe. Would you agree with that?
Well, I think obviously that since 9/11, we've done a very good job of being able to improve our intelligence gathering capabilities, our law enforcement capabilities, our intelligence in terms of being able to track the particular threats that are out there. And clearly our Muslim population has the opportunity to become citizens in this country, to integrate more fully into our society. And that gives us an advantage.
But having said that, the reality is that when these foreign nationals are able to come back into our country – and there are thousands of these nationals that are overseas in Syria and Iraq, in Yemen – I think it still represents a real danger in terms of the United States.
I don't think we can take anything for granted. I think we're dealing with a much more aggressive form of terrorism coming at us in a number of different directions, as I said. And the United States ought to continue to remain very vigilant and very aggressive in going after this kind of terrorism.
Would you expand the no-fly list, the watch lists? Would you put in place new procedures for even more intrusive intelligence, intelligence gathering?
You know, one thing I learned as CIA director is that you can always improve what you're doing in terms of being able to develop, not only the lists, but develop the intelligence that's needed in order to make sure that we're able to track these individuals. FULL POST
Fareed speaks with former CIA Director Leon Panetta about whether there was an intelligence failure over the attacks in Paris last week. Watch the full interview on GPS this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN.
What was your sense of the quality of French intelligence? I mean one often hears that not only are they pretty good, but they're pretty aggressive. Would that be your sense?
Panetta: Well, there's no question that, I think, the failure to be able to have prevented the attack that took place in Paris was an intelligence failure. And I know they had these individuals on watch lists. I know that, in some ways, they were tracking them, but because of priorities or because of resources, obviously, they weren't aware that these attacks were going to be conducted.
On GPS this Sunday: Fareed offers his take on whether the calls for U.S. military intervention in the Middle East would help prevent the kinds of attacks seen in Paris last week.
Then, Fareed digs deeper into the issue with Leon Panetta, former Director of Central Intelligence, who looks at the terrorism threat in Europe, whether the United States is vulnerable as a target and what the U.S. should do to try to stop something similar happening here.
“You know, I think that what we've seen happening over these last few weeks, between what happened in Ottawa, what's happened in Paris and now what's happened in Belgium, is that we're entering a new and perhaps more dangerous chapter in the war on terrorism,” Panetta says.
Also on the show, Fareed speaks with Doug Saunders, an international affairs columnist for The Globe and Mail and the author of The Myth of the Muslim Tide: Do Immigrants Threaten the West? about claims there has been “an influx" of people from Muslim countries, and that they aren't assimilating into their host countries when they get there.
Plus, Fareed speaks with Malcolm Gladwell, who wrote in support of the broken windows theory in his famous book The Tipping Point, and Bernard Harcourt, who wrote a book called Illusion of Order: The False Premise of Broken Windows Policing, about that much-talked about issue.
By Fareed Zakaria
It would be nice if an American intervention could identify the moderate Syrians, ensure that they defeat the (much stronger) radical Islamists and then the (much stronger) Assad army, and then stabilize and rule Syria. More likely, it would help Assad and add fuel to a raging fire.
Let’s review the record. The United States’ non-intervention in Bosnia in the early 1990s is said to have spawned Islamic radicalism, as did the interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan in the early 2000s, as did the partnership with Pakistan’s military, as did drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, as did the surge in Afghanistan, as did the withdrawal of troops from that country. When the United States intervenes, it is said to provoke terrorists; when it doesn’t, it is said to show that Washington is weak. No matter what the United States has done over the past two decades, Islamic radicalism has been on the rise, often directed against the United States and its Western allies, and it always finds a few alienated young men who act on its perverse ideology.
Read the Washington Post column
When governments try to curry favor with fanatics, eventually the fanatics take the law into their own hands. In Pakistan, jihadis have killed dozens of people whom they accuse of blasphemy, including a brave politician,Salmaan Taseer, who dared to call the blasphemy law a “black law.”
We should fight the Paris terrorists. But we should also fight the source of the problem. It’s not enough for Muslim leaders to condemn people who kill those they consider as blasphemers if their own governments endorse the idea of punishing blasphemy at the very same time. The U.S. religious freedom commission and the U.N. Human Rights Committee have both declared that blasphemy laws violate universal human rights because they violate freedom of speech and expression. They are correct.
If you ask people in Silicon Valley what makes it work, they will talk about many things — the ability to fail, the lack of hierarchy, the culture of competition. One thing almost no one mentions is the government. And yet, the Valley’s origins are deeply tied to government support. The reason there were so many engineers in California in the 1950s and 1960s was because large defense companies had attracted them there. Most of the legendary start-ups that fueled the computer revolution — Fairchild Semiconductor, Intel — got off the ground largely because the military, and later NASA, would buy their products until they became cheap and accessible enough for the broader commercial market. GPS, the technology that now powers the information revolution, was developed for the military.
And then there was government funding for research, which is sometimes thought of simply as large grants to universities for basic science but often was far more ingenious. My favorite example comes from Walter Isaacson’s fascinating new book, “The Innovators.” In the 1950s, the U.S. government funded a massive project at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory, employing equal numbers of psychologists and engineers who worked together to find ways “that humans could interact more intuitively with computers and information could be presented with a friendlier interface.” Isaacson traces how this project led directly to the user-friendly computer screens of today as well as ARPANET, the precursor of the Internet.
Federal funding for basic research and technology should be utterly uncontroversial. It has been one of the greatest investments in human history. And yet it has fallen to its lowest level as a percentage of GDP in four decades.
By Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
Editor's note: Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn are the authors of A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity. This is the second in a series of three guest posts.
Secular people often make giving a solitary activity at the end of the year, one that feels like a sacrifice. That’s the wrong way to think about giving back. We learned a lot from churches and temples and the way they turn giving into an enjoyable, uplifting social activity. Our profile of a master pastor at a mega-church, Bill Hybels, reveals some of the magic he employs. We all are social animals and when we do things with a group of people we like, the activity becomes more fun.
So form a book club and engage in a few volunteer or giving activities together—or link your book club to Book Clubs for Change, bookclubs4change.org. Choose a need in your community or an area of the world that you all care about. Then choose a topic and an organization you might work with. Or maybe consider an on-location trip to the area and meet some of the people you want to help?
Or join a chapter of Dining for Women, which is one of the secular organizations that borrows from the religious notion of fellowship and joyous giving for a cause. DFW has guests bring a pot luck dish to a host's home and then they all donate the money they would spend at a restaurant to a chosen cause empowering women worldwide. Some groups have a subcommittee screen a list of finalists and the group votes on a final selection. In A Path Appears, we list some other great organizations—there’s even one called Beer for Books—that make giving a social and fun occasion.
President Barack Obama announced the “BRAIN” Initiative in 2013. It's an effort to show the brain's neural circuits work together in real time. To find out more about efforts to map the brain, watch the "Moonshots" special on December 28 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET.
Zakaria: Is it more difficult to map the brain than it was to map the human genome, which took about, initially, 10 or 15 years?
Michio Kaku, theoretical physicist: It will take a lot of time. Realize that the Human Genome Project only talked about maybe 20,000 genes or so that may that govern the human body. The brain has 100 billion neurons, each neuron connected to 10,000 other neurons. That's as many stars as there are in the Milky Way Galaxy.
Kaku: And so it will take time.
Tune into the latest GPS special, ‘Moonshots,’ on CNN this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET.
The sun is 27 million degrees Fahrenheit and4.6 billion years old. So what if we could somehow bring this blazing ball of energy down to Earth to power our world?
Fareed hears from Ned Sauthoff, who is leading the U.S. contribution to the 35-nation ITER project that is hoping to pull off one of the most audacious feats of physics ever witnessed: creating a star.
Watch the video for more.
The Global Public Square is where you can make sense of the world every day with insights and explanations from CNN's Fareed Zakaria, leading journalists at CNN, and other international thinkers. Join GPS editor Jason Miks and get informed about global issues, exposed to unique stories, and engaged with diverse and original perspectives.
Every week we bring you in-depth interviews with world leaders, newsmakers and analysts who break down the world's toughest problems.
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Check out all of Fareed's Washington Post columns here:
Obama as a foreign policy president?
Why Snowden should stand trial in U.S.
Hillary Clinton's truly hard choice
China's trapped transition
Obama should rethink Syria strategy
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