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Hillary Clinton urges nuanced approach to ‘terrorists’

US Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton this week urged a more nuanced approach to armed non-state actors, arguing “the bottom line is, you can’t lump all terrorists together. … what the Tamil Tigers are fighting for in Sri Lanka, or the Basque separatists in Spain, or the insurgents in al-Anbar province may only be connected by tactics.”

Senator Clinton made her comments to Michael Tomasky of Britain’s ‘The Guardian’ newspaper in an interview which covered Iraq, the legacy of the Cold War and ceding executive powers. When asked “do you think that the terrorists hate us for our freedoms, or do you think they have specific geopolitical objectives?”, she replied:

“Well, I believe that terrorism is a tool that has been utilized throughout history to achieve certain objectives. Some have been ideological, others territorial. There are personality-driven terroristic objectives.”

“The bottom line is, you can’t lump all terrorists together. And I think we’ve got to do a much better job of clarifying what are the motivations, the raisons d’être of terrorists.”

“I mean, what the Tamil Tigers are fighting for in Sri Lanka, or the Basque separatists in Spain, or the insurgents in al-Anbar province may only be connected by tactics. They may not share all that much in terms of what is the philosophical or ideological underpinning.”

“And I think one of our mistakes has been painting with such a broad brush, which has not been particularly helpful in understanding what it is we were up against when it comes to those who pursue terrorism for whichever ends they’re seeking.”

October 25, 2007 - Posted by | NEWS

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