In Praise of the British and Other Terror Musings

As I hope we all know, there were at least 3 different terror attacks in Britain that were either foiled or failed to do any real damage. I have been reading around the internet observing the kinds of articles there are out there. They range from simply stating the facts of the attacks, to the raised terror level in Britain, to speculation on the threat to America. However, what I have not seen are any articles in praise of the British for stopping the attacks, regardless of who was involved in stopping them. I even found a couple articles, like this one here, that criticizes the government for not doing enough. For writers like that, there is nothing that can be done to satisfy them. They imply things like, “oh, well sure we stopped a few attacks, that’s good, but we were just lucky. The only reason they were stopped was because of “the alertness of the public and emergency services.” While that may be true, they were stopped. And to suggest that they were stopped by just pure luck is ridiculous. Three different terror attacks across the country are not just stopped by luck. At the very least, the efforts of the British government to educate their people and prepare their emergency services for such an event worked to prevent these attacks. If these attempts occurred at a time when no one was focused on terrorism, they likely would have succeeded.

While the article linked above bothered in me in the sense I mentioned, it is important to mention that there were important points made in the article. Things like improving the Intel collection and understanding the breadth of the threat. However, my impression while reading the column was that the writer was simply trying to be controversial and no matter what happens at anytime she would be critical. Unfortunately too many journalists these days will only write about the negatives, even in a positive story like that of the foiled terrorist attacks. We should be complementing the British on a job well-done.

This brings me to comment on an issue that has long bothered me, since about 2004. That is the short memory and lack of understanding of the American people. I don’t know if it is because of TV and Internet that we have become so short-minded and refuse to develop our memories, but it seems that Americans have lulled into a false sense of security. We are so wrapped up in Bush’s policies and our disdain for them, that we seem to completely ignore what threats there really are out there. While Britain is still an ocean away, it shows that terrorists still view us and the West as their enemies. While most American’s seem to think the Bush is their enemy. How about focusing your hatred and fear in another direction? You know why they don’t, it is because blaming Bush is easy. He is a face that we can use to legitimize our fears. Terrorists don’t really have much of a face. I think Bin Laden has evolved in some kind of legend, we’re not sure if he really exists (of course we are sure of that, but do you understand what I am getting at?), it’s like we don’t think he is really real anymore. The fact is we should be directing our efforts at terrorism, not Bush.

This brings me to the last point. People fail to realize that Iraq has indeed made us safer. Certainly we are unpopular because of it and people hate us for it. But all would be terrorists would hate us anyway, regardless of whether we were in Iraq. What Iraq has provided is a ‘neutral’ battlefield from where we can battle the terrorists. Now, I am not naive to the point where I think all terrorists will fight us there, so there is still cause for concern here (and why we should not forget about terrorists and 9/11). But I do think that Iraq is providing a significant diversion for many terrorists to focus their efforts on. If we were not there, where would many of these same terrorists be? In their homes in Egypt or Sudan or Pakistan, etc planning the next attack on American soil. So rather than having the amount of groups we have already doing just that, there would be hundreds more. People who say that Iraq is not part of the war on terror are deluding themselves. It is extremely significant to it. We are battling terrorist on the ground there and if we lose or pull out too early it will be viewed as further American weakness, terrorist will believe that we lost and are even more vulnerable and prone to defeat, and, therefore, plan more attacks. Thus in no way would an early exit from Iraq be wise or make us safer. The American people need to wake up and get real. Iraq is far from ideal, we are struggling, there is no argument here, but things are getting better and we WILL be successful with just some patience. Remember the Civil War, sure it was 150 years ago, but the Union was getting it handed to them for the first three quarters of it. Just like today, there were a lot of people in the North who wanted an end to the war and there was a lot of pressure on Lincoln, could you imagine if the Union caved? What a disaster! Today it is easy to look back on that and recognize that Lincoln’s choice was a no-brainer, but we have the benefit of hind sight. We don’t have that luxury right now. We cannot cut out too soon, it will be a disaster for decades to come and could spell the end to America’s Super-power status. And I don’t know about you, but I would rather have a democratic country like the US as the world’s superpower than a country like China or Russia. I fear that the next President, especially if it is Hillary or Obama, will cower to public pressure and pre-maturely withdraw from Iraq. This would show the complete lack of understanding of the situation we are in and their only desire being political power. If there is only one enviable thing you can say about Bush, it is that he sticks to his guns and will not pander; he is not afraid to take an unpopular stance.

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2 Comments

Filed under 9/11, Africa, Air Force, Army, Congress, Conservative, Democrats, Election 2008, Fred Thompson, Iraq, Iraq / Military, John McCain, Liberal, Liberalism, McCain, Media, Military, Mitt Romney, Navy, Politics, Progress, Progressive, Republicans, Romney, Rudy Giuliani, Senate, Terror, terrorism

2 responses to “In Praise of the British and Other Terror Musings

  1. I was going to suggest that you read Michael Yon’s blog, where he talks about what is happening in Iraq (he’s an independent journalist who is in Iraq right now, for anyone who doesn’t know) but I see that you already have his blog on your blogroll, so you must already know what a great blog he has! 😉

    I too feel the same way about the Iraqi War, and have in fact written a couple of blogs on the subject myself at my own blog (which, btw, thanks for linking to that too in your blogroll – that made my day to see that! :-D) I don’t understand how people can be okay with accepting defeat, when doing so will hurt the country for years, even decades, to come.

    You also talked about President Lincoln. Have you read that newest book out about him, The Team of Rivals? I just finished it – wow, what a great book! I had no clue, truly, how hard that war was. The dry textbook version I read in high school doesn’t do it justice, for sure! Every month it seemed like there were factions screaming to have us quit, to just accept the South being its own state, etc – Lincoln believed we would win, but at times it seemed like he was the only one. It really made me think because in many ways it is so applicable to what is happening today. To anyone who hasn’t read Team of Rivals, I strongly recommend reading it.

    Anyway, thanks for the great blog – you’ve got a lot here and I’m very impressed!

    Have a great day,

    Hava
    http://mittforpresident.wordpress.com

  2. Lola

    I totally agree on journalists being controversial for the sake of it. News these days is all about sensationalizing and titillation…

    I am not sure if I agree with your comments on Iraq. I do not believe the best way is to fight fire is with fire, and I also believe governments must be consistent. I ask why they chose to go to Iraq and not to other places where there dictators, or people are doing worse (building nuclear weapons for example)?

    Also bear in mind that the war in Iraq was started on the basis of ‘weapons of mass destruction’, not terrorism. America and the UK didn’t go to Iraq because there were terrorists there. I would argue that you could probably find terrorists in most countries in the world. Should we go and bomb the hell out of everywhere else too?

    Now, America and the UK are fighting normal people on the ground who feel – rightly – angry that they have come to invade their land. They have also given carte blanche for any other trouble maker to come out and cause trouble for the same reason. Just like our troops our fighting for our countries and our rights, I’m sure those Iraqi poeple feel they are doing the same, and they now feel justified to do so too.

    My biggest problem with the war in Iraq is that there was no thought about the long term. Destabilizing nations does not help anybody. It creates problems for both sides, as Iraq is doing. It was ill thought out and, based on the knowledge we have about weapons of mass destruction, also unjustified.

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