Robert Scheer wrote a provocative and in places accurate piece concerning our homeland security in the face of ‘stealth underwear.’
However, his larger point runs amiss. He basically calls for a cease-fire on U.S. military action against terrorism. He thinks we ought to focus solely on our security against the likes of suicide-underwear bombers, to the exclusion of, as he sees it, wasting our time fighting wars in places like Afghanistan.
Preventing terrorist attacks on the U.S. homeland has nothing to do with occupying vast tracts of land or winning the hearts and minds of backward villagers whom we falsely depict as surrogates of an evil empire, as we did in Vietnam and are now doing in Afghanistan. What is needed is smart police work to catch these highly mobile fanatics, and that begins with actually reading and then acting on the readily available intelligence data. It requires detectives with brains and not generals with firepower.
My response follows:
It’s both and, Mr. Scheer. You are correct to point out the obvious shortcomings of the TSA and other security agencies when faced with threats that not only are willing to put bombs in their panties, but are willing to detonate themselves along with the “infidels.” To effectively combat such a foe is seemingly one of the most difficult tasks imaginable– 100% effectiveness is not possible on this earth.
Having said that, your larger point on U.S. military action is plainly wrong. You fail to appreciate the very real ‘other side’ to the terrorist scheme: homegrown, home-funded, home-supported, and home-trained terrorist camps, cells, towns even that do resemble a more traditional military foe. These support cells/camps/groups must be rooted out! You can’t expect to successfully secure America by picking off suicide bomber after suicide bomber in airports across this world alone. To succeed you must also attack their root of operations, you must attack them on their turf, taking out their ability to grow, prosper, train and recruit.
The reason these suicide bombers are so well funded, complete with passports, visas, money, et cetera, is because they have a nest of support in various places throughout the world. Some hive concentrations of these nest groups are in places like Afghanistan, and even still in Iraq. That’s why Bush went after them, that’s why Obama is still going after them. Yes, national security has a lot of growing up to do even eight years after 9/11, but we can’t forget the importance of taking the initiative against the terrorists.
We must strike them in their homelands so as to diminish their ability to strike us in our homeland.
Thank you for your post.