Ralph Peter Looks At The Enemies That Our Technology Won’t Defeat

The suicide bomber, the Chinese and the media.

in Military Affairs” href=”http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/006/649qrsob.asp”>The Counterrevolution in Military Affairs

Not a single item in our trillion-dollar arsenal can compare with the genius of the suicide bomber–the breakthrough weapon of our time. Our intelligence systems cannot locate him, our arsenal cannot deter him, and, all too often, our soldiers cannot stop him before it is too late. A man of invincible conviction–call it delusion, if you will–armed with explosives stolen or purchased for a handful of soiled bills can have a strategic impact that staggers governments. Abetted by the global media, the suicide bomber is the wonder weapon of the age.

[…]

We have reached the point (as evidenced by the first battle of Falluja) where the global media can overturn the verdict of the battlefield. We will not be defeated by suicide bombers in Iraq, but a chance remains that the international media may defeat us. Engaged with enemies to our front, we try to ignore the enemies at our back–enemies at whom we cannot return fire. Indeed, if anything must be profoundly reevaluated, it’s our handling of the media in wartime. We have no obligation to open our accounts to proven enemies, yet we allow ourselves to be paralyzed by platitudes.

This doesn’t mean that all of the media are evil or dishonest. It means we need to have the common sense and courage to discriminate between media outlets that attempt to report fairly (and don’t compromise wartime secrets) and those whose track records demonstrate their hostility to our national purposes or their outright support for terrorists.

Too many good quotes to excerpt. Read the whole thing.

Quicher Whinin’

Democrats show no compunction about mischaracterizing the positions of Republicans. So why should the Republicans apologize?

Democrats ask GOP for apology over ads

The ad campaign focuses on a vote taken the first day of the legislative session when House Republicans made a motion on the floor for an immediate vote on a GOP-sponsored bill that calls for a lengthy mandatory minimum sentence for all sex offenders. The motion failed on a party-line vote, defeated by the Democrats who control the House 55-43. It now must go through the standard committee hearing process.

It looks to me like a skillful political mugging. The Democrats voted against mandatory minimum sentences for sex offenders. Now they have to make the case that whatever they want to fund instead should take priority over keeping sex offenders locked up.

If the parties were reversed I’m sure the Republicans would be whining.

Protecting The Rights Of Mohamed Atta

The sister of the pilot of flight 77, the plane that crashed into the Pentagon on Sept 11, has a good column in today’s WSJ.

Our Right to Security

We now have the ability to put remote control cameras on the surface of Mars. Why should we allow enemies to annihilate us simply because we lack the clarity or resolve to strike a reasonable balance between a healthy skepticism of government power and the need to take proactive measures to protect ourselves from such threats? The mantra of civil-liberties hard-liners is to “question authority”–even when it is coming to our rescue–then blame that same authority when, hamstrung by civil liberties laws, it fails to save us. The old laws that would prevent FBI agents from stopping the next al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi were built on the bedrock of a 35-year history of dark, defeating mistrust. More Americans should not die because the peace-at-any-cost fringe and antigovernment paranoids still fighting the ghost of Nixon hate George Bush more than they fear al Qaeda. Ask the American people what they want. They will say that they want the commander in chief to use all reasonable means to catch the people who are trying to rain terror on our cities. Those who cite the soaring principle of individual liberty do not appear to appreciate that our enemies are not seeking to destroy individuals, but whole populations.

She’s right and having lost a relative in the attacks of 9/11 her moral authority is absolute.

What the Democrats have decided is that a chance to make some political points is worth the elimination of our intelligence gathering ability. They want to make sure that the government cannot eavesdrop on U.S. residents while they are talking to known al Qaeda operatives in other countries. They’re trying to move back to the “law enforcement” strategy of dealing with terrorism that didn’t work before.

They seem to be of the opinion that we are not at war, or if we are, we have the option of simply withdrawing from the rest of the world. But they’re going to have to sell that to the American people and although it is an easy sell the the news media, I don’t think it will be successful with everybody else.

At any rate, I don’t think that making things easier for the next Mohamed Atta is exactly what the American people have in mind when they think of dealing with terrorism.

Mark Steyn On The Hamas Victory

At least Hamas is open about its evil intentions

So what happens now? Either Hamas forms a government and decides that operating highway departments and sewer systems is what it really wants to do with itself. Or, like Arafat, it figures that it has no interest in government except as a useful front for terrorist operations. If it’s the former, all well and good: Many first-rate terror organizations have managed to convert themselves to third-rate national-liberation governments. But, if it’s the latter, that too is useful: Hamas is the honest expression of the will of the Palestinian electorate, and the cold hard truth of that is something Europeans and Americans will find hard to avoid.