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Thread: Ten myths about national security.

  1. #1
    ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ downhill's Avatar
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    Ten myths about national security.

    1. "Islamofascism" is our biggest national security threat.

    Not hardly. This is the hot new idea among far-right demagogues who literally can't define who they are without a devil to contrast themselves against, and military hawks looking for an excuse to keep the military-industrial complex's big all-night party rolling in the bleary morning-after of a post-Cold War world. But, as the Center for American Progress notes in this article, it's a dangerous meme that disables our ability to think clearly, and it will almost certainly lead us into even more catastrophic misadventures.

    To begin with, "Islamofascism" itself is an impossible idea, and those who promote it betray a fundamental political ignorance. True fascism can only occur within an industrialized nation-state, few of which exist in the Islamic world. And many of our most intransigent problems with terrorism come from the opposite problem: modern terrorists have no state affiliations, and are thus free to drift across international borders with fluid ease. Defeating them means coming to grips with this fact. Calling them "fascists" makes it that much harder to grasp.

    2. We're fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here.

    False. The image here is that Iraq is some kind of roach hotel for global terrorism. The truth is, it's become the international finishing school where a new generation of terrorists is getting a front-line, real-time education against the American war machineóand perfecting low-tech ways to close the gap against a high-tech army.

    3. Military solutions are the only effective national security solutions.

    Wrong. So wrong that Boston University professor Andrew Bacevich (who is nobody's liberal) has written an entire book on America's dangerously naÔve faith in the military as the only viable solution to everything that ails us.

    Which is ridiculous, when you consider all the things military force can't do. Smart bombs won't stop global warming. Battlefield nukes won't cure pandemics. Air strikes won't reduce our reliance on foreign energy sources. Sending in the Marines is no way to reduce the national debt. As we saw above in No. 1, terrorism is just one of a number of real national security threats we're facingóand as we'll see, it's not even clear that that the military is the right answer there, either.

    4. What we're doing is working; we haven't had another 9/11.

    True, we haven'tóbut not for the reasons you think. Which leads us to another myth....

    5. Everybody knows that "law enforcement" approaches to terrorism don't work.

    False. They do work. In fact, they're about the only thing that really does work. Every single terrorist plot that's been prevented since 9/11óboth the serious ones, and the ones that were "more aspirational than operational"ówere prevented through good old-fashioned police and intelligence work.

    6. We don't need allies: we can do this on our own. Besides, moral authority doesn't matter when you have superior firepower.

    More fatal hubris. One of the more noxious side effects of American exceptionalism is that we cling stubbornly to the idea that we're the only country on earth that matters and owe nothing to anyone else.

    7. Negotiating with "irrational" dictators is pointless, and a sign of weakness.

    Catastrophically dumb. Conservatives condemn the idea of presidents talking to their counterparts from "enemy" countries, but 67 percent of Americans disagree, according to a June 2 Gallup poll. "Large majorities of Democrats and independents, and even half of Republicans, believe the president of the United States should meet with the leaders of countries that are considered enemies of the United States," the poll says. Fifty-nine percent of Americans, for example, would support the U.S. president meeting with the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    If FDR could confer with Stalin and JFK could negotiate with Khrushchev and Nixon could go to China and sit down with Mao, there's no reason whatsoever our current president can't arrange a meeting with Ahmedinejad. Bush's refusal to do this is a sign of his essential smallness of character and the narrowness of his worldview. The problem with all ideologues is that once they decide that "you're with us or against us," then no further discussionólet alone compromiseówith the other side is possible. That's a dangerous trait in a president, and one we should watch out carefully for in the future.

    8. Government spending on national security is different than pork-barrel spending on other programs.

    Another myth busted. Recall that when the Republicans controlled Congress, they devised a formula that diverted security money from high-risk (and mostly liberal) states like New York and California to lower-risk (and mostly conservative) places like Wyoming and Nebraska. This made no logical sense from a security standpointóthe only explanation was that the Republican Congress was using 9/11 as an excuse to dole out pork.

    9. Airport security is a critical part of our anti-terrorism effort.

    True, but not as true as it should be. Security experts are still deeply concerned about at least two big holes in the system that make the high drama of the passenger screening area into nothing much more than a farce.

    10. It's always necessary to give up our civil liberties in a time of war.

    Lincoln suspended habeus corpus during the Civil War, and FDR claimed extraordinary powers for himself during World War IIóbut neither of them ever tried to argue that being at war was a natural excuse for suspending the entire Bill of Rights. In fact (as we have seen) the more dangerous the times, the more important those liberties become.


    All from here and there's a lot more to read.

    *discussion welcomed*

  2. #2
    SG Enthusiast Leatherneck's Avatar
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    Not gonna argue with 99% of it. However I do feel threatened by Islam extremists.
    USMC RETIRED

    Steve

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    I think everyone knows my thoughts on these issues already....to add to this the evolving KGB..err Gesta...err I mean FBI was given broader powers recently. No more needing a supervisors permission to question people, their friends and family without probable cause....get involved with civil disorder..infiltrate opposition groups ( gee I wonder what they mean )..more wiretapping and monitoring without approval...in the name of safety and fighting terroism of course.... Hello? Is there anybody in there?

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    Maneater JawZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frostybear View Post
    I think everyone knows my thoughts on these issues already....to add to this the evolving KGB..err Gesta...err I mean FBI was given broader powers recently. No more needing a supervisors permission to question people, their friends and family without probable cause....get involved with civil disorder..infiltrate opposition groups ( gee I wonder what they mean )..more wiretapping and monitoring without approval...in the name of safety and fighting terroism of course.... Hello? Is there anybody in there?

    Nobody is listening. You have to use a 10 ton hammer over the head to get people's attention.


    this is the control grid.

    ...formerly the omnipotent UOD

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