Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Viewing The World Through Rose-Coloured Goggles

White House: U.S. safer but not yet safe

By MERRILL HARTSON, Associated Press Writer
2 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration proclaimed significant progress in the war on terror Tuesday but said the enemy has adjusted to U.S. defenses and that "America is safer but we are not yet safe."

Releasing an updated counterterrorism strategy in advance of a speech that President Bush was to deliver later in the day, the White House said: "The United States and our partners continue to pursue a significantly degraded but still dangerous al-Qaida network."
Pursue them....where, precisely?

In Iraq? There was no Al-Qaeda in Iraq until we invited them in. Afghanistan? Where the Taliban has ramped up an insurgency to drive American troops out, thus diverting resources from the hunt for bin Laden and Al Qaedans?

Where precisely are we pursuing them?

This "safer, but not safe" trope is bullshit from the get-go. There have been more terror attacks in more countries, killing more people each year since we invaded Iraq than there were before.

We're "safer"? No, we're not. The fact that we haven't had any attacks inside our borders does not mean we're safer. Safer means when we no longer have to be as worried about attacks, period. This kind of safer is like saying "Well, we installed a new lock on the door, and bought a gun. I guess that makes us safer."

Nope. Just means you're better able to defend yourself. "Safer" in that example would be moving to a neighborhood where you don't need a new lock and gun.

Similarly, to say that we are safer because "...we have substantially improved our air, land, sea and border security..." is ludicrous. All it means is we've raised the stakes for attacking us, which means a) our defenses can and will be breached, and b) when they are breached, the attacks will be faar more devastating and destructive than anything the world has seen yet, including Sept. 11.

Security cannot be protective, unless it is in a closed system, something the United States cannot be. The best security can do is to make it more difficult, put up more obstacles, to an attack. Psychology tells us that the harder someone works to solve a puzzle, the greater the reward had better be. Since Al Qaeda and other terror groups set their own terms for rewards, it's not impossible to see that they will set in motion an attack that will guarantee the United States permanent injury.

Buildings can be rebuilt. Lives lost, mourned, and families can move on. But freedom and peace...those are the real victims that Al Qaeda will target.