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July 18, 2004

Apologies and Exuses « Blogging »

In my own little Bonfire of the Vanities Moment, I'd like to apologize somewhat for the last post. I've been pressing on this blog, feeling I have to find some way to justify Michelle Malkin's linking of me. I wanted to show my entire range of blogging in just a few days. Now, I can often be that prolific, but I was making an effort. And since everyone was talking about the possible terrorists on the flight, I thought I'd try to put it all together and take a moment to try and guess what changes it might have on our society. In retrospect, after a few days of reflection, I don't think I did a very good job...

Ah, well. My overall point was trying to be that in the past, we gave an amazing amount of authority to elected/appointed/hired officials, but with that authority, we expect they won't abuse it, and our system of government has methods built in to allow us redress in the event that authority is abused. Somewhere along the line, though, we began to expect our law enforcement authorities would, could, and should almost automatically know who the badguys actually are, and leave the rest of us alone.

It just cannot work that way.

The underlying assumption of our system of law enforcement and crime prevention is that most people will generally try to follow the important rules, and that we won't get messed with unless we are doing something excessively bad. It's why comfortable suburban dwellers get so upset when a cop stops them for going 5 miles over the speed limit: "Why aren't you out catching criminals instead of messing with me for such a minor thing?"

This provides a loophole for terrorists to work with. If we want to make ourselves more safe from a terrorist attack, that loophole will have to close. There are two ways to close it: if we, as citizens, start getting into each other's business, or if we allow law enforcement officials more latitude to arrest/detain/hassle us before a definitive crime has been committed. Both choices are distasteful to Americans, yes. But losing 3000 citizens in one morning is far worse than merely "distasteful", and so something's gotta give. I wonder which it will be?

Posted by Nathan at 10:07 AM | Comments (2)

This is why the War on Terror may be flawed.

We have a solution to terrorism. It's the Roman solution. We have the means and the resources to impose solutions on the Muslim world, if need be, and prevent them from ever making war again.

President Bush made a strategic decision in the fall of 2001 to fight terrorism while still leaving the Muslim world intact. It was a courageous decision, but not without risks. We may get hit again as a result.

But make no mistake. The people who better hope we succeed in our war on terror is not as much Americans as our enemies. The mistake Bush has made is not making it clear what happens if the war on terror fails. Because then it becomes a very different kind of war, an older kind.

Posted by: IB Bill at July 18, 2004 02:20 PM

A nice point, nicely made. President Bush is attempting to use surgery to remove the cancer. If it eventually seems that surgical removal cannot stop the spread, we will eventually use radiation (so to speak) therapy, won't we...?

Posted by: Nathan at July 18, 2004 03:16 PM
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