• “In December 2014, the release of a Senate report on the use of torture by the United States after September 11 provoked a national debate on the morality of our tactics to fight terrorism. Beyond the argument over the results produced by such techniques lies a fundamental question of values and our standing in the world. The use of torture helps validate jihadist claims about the immorality and hypocrisy of the West. We must not fight violent extremism by becoming the brutal enemy that jihadists want. While painful, the process of publicly disclosing and confronting such incidents is, as David Rothkopf argues in Foreign Policy, “very American”33 in its transparency, which, in our view, is something to embrace. We should be seen, constantly, as balancing the scales of justice and individual freedom rather than letting the weight of groups like al Qaeda and ISIS constantly drag us toward an irrevocable mandate for more action, more compromise, and less concern for innocent people caught in the crossfire. “The Second Coming,” a poem by W. B. Yeats, is often quoted (maybe too often), because it feels so relevant to many modern situations. But its apocalyptic tone and cutting observations could have been written for the challenge of ISIS. Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.”

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