Saturday, August 12

Who Knew International Police Cooperation Would Work Better than Big Armies Against Terror? Oh yeah- the ENTIRE PROGRESSIVE COMMUNITY SINCE SEPT 12th!

I rarely write myself on Lettrist, but he I have to say a brief word:

It's almost unimaginable to me that five full years has gone by since a candlelight vigil the students and faculty at UC Berkeley held immediately after the Sept 11th terrorist attacks. Because alongside the tearful laments and sympathies expressed for those directly implicated in the trajedy, was a chilling warning. This was UC Berkeley, after all, one of the few places left in America were genuine thought actually takes place, no matter if the vast majority of Americans every hear it or not. And on that night, speaker after speaker - experts in the political science, history, and students of the middle east - came to to podium near the end to warn about the dangerous possibility that the Bush administration might take this occasion of collective suffering to push through a radical policy of war, invading Iraq on whatever pretext they could fabricate in a major landwar that would inevitably create mass unrest, rouse ethnic rivalries, alienate the few moderate voices in the middle east and give comfort and support to the most ruthless and dictatorial regimes in the area, destabilizing the region for decades to come, and killing tens of thousands of Americans and Iraqies both.

And even then, a few pious idiots, draping themselves in the flag and shouting a few simple slogans to drown out the gentler sophistication of those they could no - or would not - understand, began denouncing these speakers as "Traitors" and calling for a Jihad-like war against Arabs, against Terrorism-in-General, no matter what the cost, come what may.

And five years later, we see the chilling results of this incompetant foreign policy, which brandishes itself so loudly and accomplishes so little.

-andrew v. uroskie

To the Editor:

Re “Terror Plot Foiled; Airports Quickly Clamp Down” (front page, Aug. 11):

The actions of the British in stopping this bomb plot were classic examples of good international police work. President Bush touted this as part of the “war on terror,” but it apparently did not involve any army, navy or air force.

No bombs were dropped. No country was invaded. No one was killed, and nothing was destroyed.

It was effective, and it did not enrage millions as the invasion of Iraq has done. It was a police action, not an act of war.

The “war on terror” is not a war. President Bush calls it a war so that he can be a wartime president and claim to be a heroic protector of America, but this is bogus.

Terrorism cannot be fought with armies. They make things only worse. Mr. President, bring the armies home and concentrate on good police work.

John Hilberry
New York, Aug. 11, 2006

To the Editor:

One of the Bush administration’s many justifications of the fiasco in Iraq is that “we are fighting the terrorists there so that we don’t have to fight them at home.” So thousands of lives are lost and billions of dollars are wasted in Iraq, which is dissolving into civil war.

Meanwhile, the real threats to our interests are apparently being nurtured in Western cities like London, with the help of Al Qaeda in Pakistan.

How much more effective might the “war on terrorism” have been if we had concentrated on defeating Al Qaeda in Afghanistan rather than allowing its forces to become entrenched in Pakistan; and using the billions of dollars expended in Iraq on truly effective homeland security measures, which we can’t afford because of the war in Iraq?

Judith Pulley
Chapel Hill, N.C., Aug. 11, 2006

To the Editor:

President Bush said on Thursday: “It is a mistake to believe there is no threat to the United States of America. We’ve taken a lot of measures to protect the American people. But obviously we still aren’t completely safe.”

Every American should demand to know what measures Mr. Bush has taken. Why are our ports, railways, airports, borders and nuclear power plants still vulnerable?

Most important, why, after three years, has terrorism spread like a cancer out of control around the world? What has Mr. Bush done to unite the world against the terrorist threat? If national security is an issue this fall, Mr. Bush and the Republicans have failed.

Pam Walton
Mountain View, Calif., Aug. 11, 2006

To the Editor:

Re “The London Plot” (editorial, Aug. 11):

Sooner or later people will figure out that talking tough on terrorism is not the same as resolving the issue.

The Bush-Cheney-Rove marketing machine has, thus far, successfully used fear to win votes. It’s not surprising that Senator Joseph I. Lieberman has adopted this tactic.

We’ll find out in November if this tired, craven propaganda still works. Recent national polling shows that the American people may have had enough.

Most Americans know there’s not always truth in advertising.

Nancy Linden
McLean, Va., Aug. 11, 2006