Thursday, July 05, 2007

It's time to cancel the war on terror - and the orange alert

It was a mistake. Emphases mine.

A New Declaration of Independence - Early Warning - William Arkin Washington Post

.. We live in an age where a terrorist attack could occur on any given day in any given public place. I'm afraid there's no returning to an imagined simpler era. The more we turn these criminal attacks into an assault on our national security, however, the more we reward terrorists with the attention they seek, and the more we turn terrorists into "warriors."

... the administration is applying the wrong strategy to the "fight," pursuing an approach that builds an environment of public fear. It's time, then, to declare independence from this hopeless cycle and demand a return to the pre-9/11 era of law enforcement. In the case of terrorism, war is not the answer.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff says that because of the attacks and plots in the United Kingdom, security will be elevated at U.S. airports and other transit hubs today and through the holiday weekend. As President Bush says, "You never know where they may try to strike."

I'd say this response were a transparent attempt to incite fear in the public -- except that I think that the government may actually be clueless as to how best to respond. Yes, the president's observation has a partisan tinge to it. More important, however, his statement suggests another lost battle in a "war" that is no such thing.

... After 9/11, the reaction of the national security monolith was to decry the former "law enforcement" mode of counterterrorism. This was a kind of right-wing "Blame America" argument, suggesting that a litigious approach and our own high regard for the law were responsible for the ineffectual fight against al Qaeda. Only an all-out "war," the argument went, could save America and, by extension, the West....

... I'm sure that there is more that could be done, especially with the warfare paradigm: Throw more soldiers into the fight, employ better weapons, match each measure with a counter-measure. It's never-ending, because war is the wrong conception.

What is needed is a declaration that the war is over. Terrorists are not warriors, they are just criminals...

Also, can we stop with the freakin' "orange alert" already? Orange is the new norm. We aren't going back to yellow, or green, or whatever the colors used to be in the magic world we used to live in. I'd say we go to "normal" and "red", and red can't last more than 3 days without a renewal by Congress.

No comments: