Friday, August 11, 2006

Ya Gotta Have Friends

The war on terror continues.

The intelligence community has handed over what could be a major victory in thwarting a plot to hijack some ten planes or so.

Bravo! I mean that. Outstanding work if it is what it claims to be. I stand re-affirmed in the knowledge that it’s a harsh world out there filled with those who would see us fail and that technological superiority met with superior information will overcome fanaticism.

What is missing from the current equation is this: Here in the states we have burned major sections of the constitution in an effort to illuminate darkened corners in the hopes that some pest will come scurrying out for us to kill. We’ve sat by while warrantless wiretaps have become accepted practice. People are held indefinitely with out trial and without counsel. We've watched while Attorney General Gonzales sits in front of a Senate panel and stands stymied over the definitition of torture. (And some still think this issue with the definition of "Is" remains the greatest sin) The list goes on.

But it wasn’t any of these that provided the victory today. It was the intelligence community doing what it does best.




Of note here is that it wasn’t our intelligence community, it was the British.

Now I am not going to say that our intelligence community failed because we didn’t find these guys first because it sounds like a reasonable case that the British were the ones who SHOULD have found it. I’d even venture to say our guys probably helped somewhere along the line.


It does demonstrate the absolute need for friends in the world.

About 230 years ago we were killing each other- the British and the Americans during the Revolution I mean. Then, During the War of 1812 they torched our capital after eating the meal Dolly Madison had set. (That’s just rude)

Yet in today’s world, Britian and America are the staunchest of allies and they are the ones who delivered this victory. It is in this light that I suggest that our own regime change this November is imperative. The current administration has damaged our international relations so severely that who can say, had it been a different government, that we would have received the warning.

Make your own list of who you think would warn us and who might just sit by.

But, just like with the British(and Japanese and Germans and. . .) these relationships can be repaired- starting with this November. It’s time to send a message to the world that we are through being blundering bullies who start war out of political desire (Iraq) rather than national security needs(Afghanistan).

(See Richard Clark’s book Against All Enemies and )

We are a great country, but to go it alone unnecessarily is wasteful and wrongheaded. The British didn't get this information by destroying civil rights of their citizens and there is nothing to suggest that any of our recent desecrations of the founding fathers' designs aided in capturing these animals. When we throw out our civil liberties in the hopes that we might gain some security we of course invoke Franklin's great quote about essential liberties and temporary security. But more than this: At a fundamental level we're announcing that we're just not smart enough to win by our own rules.

The war on terror ultimately will be won by superior technology, superior information and

a little help from our friends.


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9/06/2006 09:00:00 PM  

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