A kinder and gentler terrorist

The New York Times gives Gerry Adams’s book a favorable write-up. Maria at Crooked Timber disapproves.

Me, too.

There’s a simple fact about the IRA that most of its supporters tend to ignore: The voice is the voice of the Sons of Liberty, but the hands are the hands of the Corleone family.

Share power with Gerry Adams to stop the killing? Well, if it’s necessary, it’s necessary. But pretend that he isn’t a mass murderer, the chief of a gang of extortionists? No way. And somehow I don’t get all warm and fuzzy when I learn that a mass murderer has a “sense of humor.”

I stand by my previously-stated proposal for dealing with the problem.

Update Yes, when Jacob fooled his father into disinheriting his brother, it was the voice, not the hands, that reflected the actual situation. But that was then, and this is now.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com