Radical Centrism

Mark Satin pursues “America’s Purpose” at NAF Terrorism Conference


Radical Middle writer Mark Satin outlines “a
12-Point Plan for Combatting Terrorism
and Becoming More
Understanding, More Humane, AND MORE EFFECTIVE in the Process”, based on his
observations of the New America Foundation’s conference on “Terrorism,
Security, and America’s Purpose

Some excerpts from the full
1. Stop! Listen! Learn!
We can?t move forward without doing a lot
more listening and learning.
2. Beyond Good Versus Evil
Note the overriding empathy in all the
3. Provide Servant Leadership
To lead effectively in the war on terror (or in
any other global endeavor), the U.S. needs to practice collaboration, foresight,
and an ethically informed approach to power.
4. Help Bring Democracy to Muslim
First, democracy has to come from the bottom up.
Second, America can?t present itself as the sole model. And third,
although elections are important, even more important are (a) rule of law, and
(b) having a genuine opposition party take root.
5. Help Bring Prosperity to Muslim
any solution to terrorism will therefore require
us to help induce economic progress in all Muslim states, from Morocco to
6. Mobilize Global Civil
People … urgently need to know they have a
future, she said, and a future means jobs.
7. Keep Nuclear Weapons Out of Terrorists?
We can?t eliminate everyone who?d do
us harm, but we can and
make it a lot harder for such people to
get their hands on nuclear weapons.
8. Eliminate Overdependence on Our Armed
?[F]orce alone will not be sufficient . . .
and can be counter-productive when not part of a comprehensive, integrated, and
long-term strategy.?
9. Reform Our Political
we?re becoming more centralized and rigid
while the terrorists are becoming more decentralized and flexible
10. Reform the Law, Don?t Thwart
We must stay within the constraints of the law,
even if the laws may have to be modified to deal with terrorists
11. Mobilize U.S. Civil Society
The front line of democracy promotion must not be
the U.S. government, [but] be non-profits, NGOs. Government should
?privilege? them.
12. A Little Self-Improvement
if more Americans were truly interested in the
world and truly willing to accept and understand The Other, our responses to
terrorism might be more productive.
The conference?s real

if we want to build a new and
radical centrist consensus, then we need to listen to what
is saying. That?s why the conference included expert voices from every
credible point on the American political spectrum, and from at least eight other
The conference?s holistic
perspective was its real message. It modeled the holistic, integrative,
ethically aware worldview we?ll all need to adopt if we want to become
more effective opponents of terrorism, more substantial global citizens, and
more responsive human beings.