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Get candidates to talk seriously about terrorism

ASK THIS | April 25, 2004

These questions are from Murrey Marder, the sponsor of the Nieman Foundation's Watchdog Project. They are provocative, tough questions and need to be asked.

Q. Is it or should it be U.S. policy to kill all terrorists everywhere and to attack nations and people that support them?

Q. "As long as it takes?" Really? Years? Decades? Longer than the Cold War, which lasted 50 years? Should we be prepared for that?

Q. At what cost to the U.S.? Not only in blood and money but in other domestic sacrifice, in global equilibrium, respect, friendship, etc.?

Q. While this indeterminate war proceeds, will it be reducing the number of terrorists in the world or multiplying them?

Q. Is it conceivable that the U.S. can eliminate the world's terrorists and those who support them by military or economic weapons of every magnitude without eliminating the roots and seedbeds of terrorism? If not, how does the U.S. deal with those roots and seedbeds?

Q. These are obviously monumental challenges but they are real. Has Candidate X thought about them, and does he or she have a plan to cope with them?

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