Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11 anniversary

I think the most important question is, "Are we safer?"

I think we are NOT safer.

I think we have wasted a lot of money, eroded civil liberties, and accomplished only a few things.

I think that to be safer against terrorism we would have to accomplish several things:

1. Secure our borders and prevent terrorists from entering our country.
We have completely failed to do this. I would grade this as an F.

2. Go overseas and actually destroy terrorist organizations.
We have destroyed some of the terrorists that were in Afghanistan. We have toppled the Iraqi government; however, we have created a large mess in Iraq. I would grade this a C.

3. Cut off terrorist funding.
I think we have done a good job of this. I would give this an A.

4. Improve airline and airport security.
I think we have spent a lot of money; however I do not think we have greatly improved airport security. I would grade this a C.

5. Protect likely targets in The United States.
We have spent a lot of money and accomplished little. I would grade this a D.

6. Form a large inter-national coalition.
We have angered much of the world. I would grade this an F.

Overall I give our government a D on this topic.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

Mike Sylvester

6 comments:

Jeff Pruitt said...

Mike,

Your grades closely match the bipartisan 9/11 commission's grade card given late last year.

For their 41 recommendations, over half were graded as D,F,incomplete. Only 1 graded as an A - stopping terrorist funding.

I don't think we're safer but we're certainly a little lighter in the wallet...

Tim Zank said...

I think we are safer. Our security is no where near perfect, but it is better than it was. There is no overnight cure for this, and it doesn't matter who is sitting in the Oval Office, it's going to be a cumbersome process. I'd agree we have wasted HUGE amounts of money on worthless programs, but this has been going on since the New Deal and won't change anytime soon. I disagree that our civil liberties have been eroded by any security measures. Our civil liberties are being eroded by eminent domain, and a host of other judicial screw ups NOT related to terror security. As for the list:

1. I would grade this a C as of now. The flow of illegals has slowed and we are making some progress from where we were..Granted, still needs a lot of work.
2. I would grade this a C as well. But keep in mind, it's hard to slip into a country and kill people when you have The New York Times, Amnesty International, The ACLU and a host of other helpful organizations working AGAINST our efforts.
3. I would grade this an A.
4. I would grade this a D primarly because of the massive waste of money checking Grandma's shoes instead of yanking young muslim men out of line with one way tickets. The TSA is a hugely inefficient agency staffed by $8 an hour bag checkers instead of military or law enforcement professionals.
5. I would give this a D as well. Once again we have agencies filled with desk jockeys who don't care and greedy self serving politicians
appropriating money for their districts to "protect" some really stupid things.
6.I would not grade this, as I think it is a non-issue issue. You get people screaming all the time how we burned our bridges or angered allies or pissed off some other third world country because of our stance on something. The plain facts are NOBODY in recorded history has EVER done more to BETTER the world in terms of aid and philanthropy than this fledgling 230 year old experiment in government we call The United States of America. We've done more in a couple hundred years than the rest of world has EVER. The worlds opinions will always vascillate, we should not.

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Jeff:

I think we are a LITTLE safer; and a lot lighter in the wallet...

Tim:

How much safer do you think we are Tim?

I agree there is no easy cure.

You disagree that our civil liberties have been eroded? Really? Why do we have a "Do not fly list" that lists ACLU lawyers, nuns, piliticians, etc and DOES NOT list young muslim men?

I find it interesting that you think the flow of illegal aliens has slowed... I do not... Heck they are staging rallies and hundreds of thousands are openly marching in our country.

I think it is interesting that you do not care what the world thinks. I used to think as you do on this topic. I changed my mind the more I travelled. I have spent time in about 25 different countries. My trip overseas was to France. I have been to France before. I was amazed how anti-American France has become...

Mike Sylvester

Tim Zank said...

Mike, I think there are still gaping holes in our national security, but I think it is beter than it was pre-911.

I personally have had none of my civil liberties taken away. The no fly lists are a good start to screening air travelers, but are bound to be rife with mistakes because unqualified people are compiling the lists. By the way, the lists do include muslims as well as anybody else who has had contact with suspected terrorist groups. Granted, it ain't perfect but remember there is no "right to fly"...the airlines can boot anyone they don't like at anytime, as can the feds if they perceive a threat.

I think the flow of illegals into the country has slowed up...what you are seeing are demonstrations and protests of the gazillions that are already here illegally...we just need to start rounding them up...

As far as what others think of us, I don't relish being disliked, however I think they ALL love us when they need us and hate us when they don't. Putting somebody else in the oval office or congress will not change that one bit. Keep in mind also that if the american people hear 24 times a day from our press corps that the rest of the world hates us, that will in fact become OUR perception. I would blame self serving journalists for our level of disdain around the world. The press tells the american public every single hour of every single day that we are to blame for the worlds ills....and now most actually believe it....it's ridiculous.

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Tim Zank:

Have you been overseas before?

Where and when?

I am curious...

Mike Sylvester

Tim Zank said...

No Mike, I have not been overseas. My experience with European opinions is derived primarily from my sister who lives in Stuttgart (25 years) and my brother who lived in St. Jean De Luz (France) and London for a number of years while touring as a classical pianist. I'm the only redneck in the family.....