The sovereign can no longer say, "You shall think as I do on pain of death;" but he says, "You are free to think differently from me, and to retain your life, your property, and all that you possess; but if such be your determination, you are henceforth an alien among your people."

(Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835)

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Winning hearts and minds - lesson 1

Under the code-name Operation Christmas, the Colombian Army are erecting giant Christmas trees in FARC-held territory in an attempt to persuade the guerrillas to demobilise.

A novel idea (and the Colombian government have in fact had some success in demobilising/reintegrating rank-and-file FARC members over the past few years) but probably not one which could be replicated in, say, Afghanistan... for obvious reasons.

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