Thursday, July 22, 2004

Are we safer

As I read through the report I will comment on the thing I find most important, it may not be in the order of the report but, it will be word for word. Also, with each thing I find of interest, I will write a new post and not update. My reasoning in this is, although this report speaks of one event, there are different areas worth discussing in seperate posts.

Are We Safer?

Since 9/11, the United States and its allies have killed or captured a majority of al Qaeda's leadership; toppled the Taliban, which gave al Qaeda sanctuary in Afghanistan; and severely damaged the organization. Yet, terrorist attacks continue. Even as we have thwarted attacks, nearly everyone expects they will continue. How can this be?

The problem is that al Qaeda represents an ideological movement, not a finite group of people.

Very good point. We often say we are fighting a WAR ON TERROR but, what is terror? It's a group of people whose philosophy is, that the destruction of innocents is in line with them getting what they want. How do we fight a belief? A few ways.

1.) We take the fight to them, as we have done already.
2.) We find out why these people believe the way they do. This means we have to get into the heads of the people who hate us. We have to try and fight a philosophy that thinks we are expendable. And it means we have to try and change this belief.
3.) We take our case to those who may be neutral in this and show them why it is important to fight this.
It initiates and inspires, even if it no longer directs. In this way, it has transformed itself into a decentralized force. Bin Laden may be limited in his ability to organize major attacks from his hideouts. Yet, killing or capturing him, while extremely important, would not end terror. His message of inspiration to a new generation of terrorists would continue.

Another very good point. The capture of bin Laden means nothing, it would give us a shot in the arm and some pats on the back but, that's all.
Because of offensive actions against al Qaeda since 9/11, and defensive actions to improve homeland security, we believe we are safer today. But we are not safe.

Notice the distinction. Though we are safer, we are not safe. While we have disrupted and even killed some of the leaders, they are still out there planning. This is the one thing I think we should not forget.

Let's be honest for a moment. We can do all the things recommended in this summary, we can do everything everyone else thinks we should do, and still, we can be attacked. There are people who hate us, for whatever reason and hate, not love, is the greatest motivator. They will find a way to attack us so, we should be prepared for it.