Tuesday, December 29, 2009

War On Terror Like War on Drugs

Terrorist, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, brings explosives on Northwest Flight 253. Homeland Security springs into action and puts additional screening measures into place, including banning passengers from holding coats or blankets in their laps or using restrooms during the flight’s last hour.

Years ago when the U.S. declared a "war on drugs," it put lots of money, manpower, etc. into catching street drug dealers and addicts. It filled America's prisons with them. Were there efforts to stop drugs at the source? Yes, but the real focus was on the minutiae.

Decades later, we have an exploding prison population and Mexico is in danger of being taken over by a drug cartel.

The government is making the same mistakes with the war on terror (a term that Obama has scrapped). A terrorist brings liquid explosives on a plane. No more shampoo in your carry-on bag. A terrorist tries to ignite a bomb in his shoe. Eighty-year-old grandmothers have to remove their shoes before boarding. At the end of a flight, a terrorist ignites his crotch. You freeze and pray you don't have to use the bathroom during the last hour of your flight.

What about attempts to alert authorities by Abdulmutallab's own father that went essentially ignored? Why isn't the data base for potential terrorists (which included Abdulmutallab) automatically linked with the no-fly data base, the excuse by Homeland Security for why he was allowed to fly? Why aren't we tightening the student visa application process? These are the issues we should be addressing, not blankets and bathrooms.

Terrorists will just try something else next time. Banning the phrase “war on terror” has made us forget we are indeed at war. Fighting it requires focus on the important things before the terrorist equivalent of America’s being taken over by a drug cartel is our reality.


Anonymous said...

I bet if we start using the term "War on terror" again, it will be as effective as our "war on drugs".

You make an argument but at the same time remind us how the label does not matter.

Friendly Neighborhood Republican said...

I disagree. The difference is that the "war on terror" is actually a war. It's a new kind of war that is fighting an ideal (terrorism), I suppose, rather than a country. The "war on drugs" wasn't an actual war, so the label was meaningless. By trying to take the word "terror" or "terrorism" out of the American vernacular, Obama is weakening the actual war. Words are very important, and terrorism is what we are fighting against. Using that word brings to mind 9/11 and other terrorist attacks and helps Americans unite behind the wars we are fighting.

Right Truth said...

I'm not sure war on terror was ever the appropriate term, looking back perhaps we should have labeled it "war on Islamic jihad", or something else. Not sure. I know not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists lately have been Muslims.

Obama won't call it war against anything.

Right Truth

Anonymous said...

So, are you saying we should go back the the Bush strategy?

Friendly Neighborhood Republican said...

The Bush strategy as in the Bush doctrine? I'm not sure what you mean, but I mean that I think we need to beef up real national security measures (like visas, databases that communicate with eachother) rather than further harassing people at airports. We clearly don't even have the financial resources to go into countries that harbor terrorists and attack them as enemies, as Bush alluded to in one of his speeches, and I think the terrorists are counting on that fact. But we need to call it what it is, and terrorism is what it is, and that's what we're fighting. If you call it the Afghan war, people are going to forget what brought us there.