Advertisement

Authoritarian Regimes Spawn Terrorism

January 18, 2002

Since "Singapore's government is one of the most authoritarian" in East Asia, why is "the existence of a terrorist group . . . a shock to many" ("Singapore Says Terror Ring Planned Attacks on Americans," Jan. 12)? History, including recent history, has shown that terrorism is most likely to thrive in authoritarian and totalitarian societies.

The Middle Eastern and South Asian countries that spawned the nightmare of today's terrorism are all authoritarian to some degree; with no other outlet, extremism becomes attractive to the powerless. A country that "limits free speech and political opposition" is creating an environment in which violent extremist solutions have appeal to many. This is exactly the sort of thing that this country's founding fathers sought to avoid, and why they attached so much importance to personal freedoms.

Michael Snider

Santa Monica

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|