We Don't Need More Reasons to Hate Chirac ...
... But He Gives Them to Us Anyway:
Go figure. The Islamic Republic of France, with the aiding and abetting of the U.S. government, put together a cease-fire proposal featuring a "robust" (hah!) international force of 15,000 UN troops, which they offer to lead while at the same time reducing their commitment to 400 soldiers. Word is that the Syrian government has intimidated them, threatening via back channels that French troops will become victims of a terrorist attack if France commits a significant number of troops to the UN force. The coyotes can't wait to see how the French stand up to Iran. Wile E.
UN Cease-Fire Must Be a Joke.
Ugh: At first blush, the U.N. approved cease fire in Lebanon appears to be an ugly joke. Here's the plan: The UN will deploy 15,000 blue helmets with a "robust mandate" to watch the Lebanese army play footsie with Hezbollah while it redeploys its forces and rockets in Southern Lebanon. Okay, they said it another way. The blue helmets will support the Lebanese army in the region as Israel withdraws. Apparently, that was the fish thrown to Israel. Their withdrawal timeline is inderminate. But geez. With the Lebanese army is in the back pocket of Hezbollah and the blue helmets supposed to "support" the Lebanese army, that means the UN will be effectively supporting Hezbollah. They certainly won't be shooting at them. They don't have a mandate to shoot at anything. I suppose we should be grateful they weren't assigned specifically to shoot at Israel. Of course, nothing says they can't haul Hezbollah rockets into position. The real laugher is that the U.S. sold out Israel and Ehud Olmert is going along with it.Wile E.
Stop "The War on Terrorism ... "
... And Fight the Real Enemy:
Since 9/11, we have supposedly been fighting a "war on terrorism." As has been pointed out by other commentators, "terrorism" is a technique used by a variety of groups, some of whom aren't a particular threat to us (Basque partisans, whether they use terrorism or not, are not particularly a threat to Americans). Our enemy, correctly defined, is something like "genocidal Islamists." Radio talk show host Michael Medved names the enemy as "Islamic Nazis," a term I don't especially like because it invites discussion that isn't especially helpful. However, I think it is useful to name the enemy as a group of people with a specific goal and a set of behaviors. Suffice it to say that our enemy consists of certain people who behave with the clear intent to exterminate certain classes of people, namely Jews (or Israelis), Americans, and infidels. Our enemy is not a religion, though the enemy subscribes to certain religious views. The fact that this enemy is determined to kill us makes it one worth fighting. Defined this way, the face of the enemy becomes rather specific. From the top, it consists first of those states who have a stated purpose of exterminating Jews and Americans and infidels (Iran), quasi-states and militias with the stated purpose of exterminating Jews and Americans (Hamas, Hezbollah, Iraqi "insurgents"), clerics and other leaders fomenting followers to these purposes (Al Qaeda leadership, many Wahabi clerics, many Pakistani madrasas), financial supporters of any of these groups, and soldiers doing the dirty work (active and sleeper cells). If we name the enemy correctly, it will be easier to go on the offensive. Wile E.
Stop the Airport Foolishness.
TSA, and security agencies from other countries, need to stop the goofy security focus on "stuff" instead of "people." Okay, in the context of yesterday's specific threat, checking carry-on liquids makes some sense but only for a brief period of time. However, it can't go on. It's wrong-headed. Security teams need to do what the Israelis do--focus on identifying problem "people" with astute questioning, observation, and other techniques. Also, specific security measures should be randomized--with computers and random changes of mathemeticians supplying the algorithms--so that would-be terrorists cannot predict and rely on specific techniques. In other words, TSA might apply a variety of techniques that would change in a random order at random periods of time. These techniques might include: questioning of everyone, questioning of likely candidates (yes! profiling!), questioning of every nth person, questioning of random persons, thorough checks of everyone's bags, thorough checks of likely candidates' bags, etc. Algorithms should ensure that the most effective techniques--namely profiling--are in play most often. Also, TSA officials need the ability to make human decisions, pulling a suspicious character out of line when some other technique is mandated. We need to drop the ridiculous reticence to profile young Middle Eastern males (or whomever fits the current profile) and combine that with enough randomly used additional techniques to increase the chances of terrorists slipping through the profile (by using women, non-Arab converts to Islam, etc.). This system would be much less invasive for most passengers than the current, mostly useless search for box-cutters, nail clippers, and shampoo. Wile E.