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Is this a war, or police action? November 30, 2008

Posted by neoavatara in Politics, World Politics.
Tags: , , , ,


Every time a 9/11, London, Bali, Madrid, or Mumbai happens, the media frenzy starts about how intelligence agencies could have prevented such attacks.

Frankly, I think it is nonsense.

Sure, agencies can certainly have minimized the force of such attacks.  In hindsight, if we had closed down all air traffic on the morning of September 11, 2001, would the attacks have been largely stopped?  Of course.  But who would have given that order, and with what evidence?  Or could all of the trains been stopped in Madrid the morning of March 11, 2004, would that have stopped the terrorists?  Possibly, but could you imagine how mad commuters would have been without absolute proof?

The authorities reaction in Mumbai will be debated, and should be.  Did they take too long?  Were they not aggressive enough?  Did intelligence agencies miss something?  (Sidenote; owner of the Taj Hotel, Ratan Tata, says that security was beefed up several weeks ago based on intelligence…food for thought).

Frankly, no manner of preparation can stop a Mumbai, Madrid, or London.  Why?  When 10 fools want to kill themselves, it is very hard to stop them.  It is similar to school gun shootings in the U.S.A.; yeah, we could potentially stop them, but how?

So ultimately, the question becomes, how do we confront these terrorists?

I think we must accept two realities:

  1. We must fight a ‘war’ against organized terrorist networks like Al Qaeda.  We cannot allow organizations to be built to continue to fund and train soldiers for terrorist missions.  What is clear from Mumbai is that these were not simple thugs.  They were well trained militia with a well thought out plan to kill as many as possible with as much collateral damage as possible, with minimal cost (a few dozen guns, couple thousand dollars worth of bullets, and possible 10k worth of grenades; Basically for the same cost of a Toyota Camry, you can have your own terrorist plan hatched.).  These networks must be treated as enemies of the state.  And any country that allows such networks to exist must not be respected.
  2. Terrorist attacks will continue.  Even if we completely disrupt terrorist networks, small groups can easily arrange for a terrorist attack.  By eliminating networks for training and cash, you can possibly limit the terrorist effect.  But stopping them completely is unlikely.  So, our local police and first responders must be prepared for such an attack, everywhere and anywhere.  This is difficult, and at times impractical.  But it must be done.

We as the free peoples of the world must understand; we are fighting a war.  That is a reality.  But this is so much more than a simple war.  We must, on individual basis, city, state, and other localities, be prepared.  Terrorism is like an act of nature.  We often cannot predict where it can and will occur, but we must be prepared for the possibility at all times.  To argue whether the ‘war on terror’ is an apt name is a ridiculous argument.  The reality exists, and we must prepare.



1. Jeremy Styron - November 30, 2008

Yes, we are officially fighting a war, but the war on terror is like the war on drugs, it’s so ubiquitous that we can’t possibly imagine it’s eventual victory. Terrorism was not created on 9/11. Acts of terror have pervaded for centuries. The fact that we are just now in the 21st century declaring a “war” on it precludes nothing from its history.

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