Monday, October 1, 2007

Anti-Terrorism

Amazing how the U.S. focuses such intense "security" that it becomes a theater of the absurd:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15012105/

...meanwhile, some real terrorist is probably floating a nuke up the Chesapeake Bay in a cabin cruiser.

It seems that nobody can face the fact that terrorist attacks simply cannot be completely prevented--certainly not in a "free" society. Even in an intensely guarded police state like the Soviet Union, they could not be prevented. The U.S. has a lot of coastline, a lot of unprotected border, hundreds of ships carrying hundreds of thousands of shipping containers entering the country every day, only a fraction of which can be inspected. We can't stop the flow of illegal drugs--we can't even make a dent in the flow of tons of illegal drugs. The street price of cocaine is now a quarter of what it was at the start of the "Drug War" Hello? It's absurd to even talk about preventing a determined individual, or group of individuals, or dangerous materials from getting into the United States.

Instead of spending vast sums of money and manpower on the impossible task of protecting the U.S. from terrorist attacks, much better results could be obtained by changing our behavior in the global arena such that terrorists are no longer motivated to attack. By this, I am referring to curbing U.S. interference in the governments of other countries, curbing the use of foreign aid money as a form of bribe to get foreign governments to give special consideration to U.S. companies operating in those countries, curbing the criminal behavior of U.S. companies operating in foreign countries, and so on. A recent example of this was just in the news where Chiquita Brands was funding anti-government guerrilla fighters. Back in the 80's, Coca-Cola operating in Guatemala murdered nearly 50 people who were trying to get a union started. These things happened with impunity because the U.S. government had already bribed the foreign government into allowing it, allowing U.S. companies to do as they please, pay no taxes, ignore local laws. The politicians in those foreign governments are happily corrupt and happy to pocket the "foreign aid" money from the U.S., and retire in style, but the populace that suffers ends up disliking the U.S. This sort of behavior has been going on for about 100 years now. Meddling in countries pisses people off and it's starting to come back to haunt us.

For background on the sort of activities I refer to, the following two books are a good start:

The Central America Factbook by Tom Barry and Deb Preusch

Open Veins of Latin America by Eduardo Galeano

And here's a little kicker for you of Congressman Ron Paul citing the 9/11 Commission Report and CIA assessments that say the same thing I said above:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wAR9O0x6B4

7 comments:

elpolvo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
elpolvo said...

phil-

the msnbc link in the first paragraph of the article actually takes me to this url:

http://shuttersparks.blogspot.com/

that's ok with me... and i pasted the url in my address window to read the msnbc article... but i thought the faulty link was worth a comment.

ps- i had to delete the first comment because "preview" and the actual post don't handle the html i added in the same fashion. (Blogger Bug)

ShutterSparks said...

It's corrected. Sorry about that. I have no idea how that happened. All my other links seem okay.

Yes, Blogger does have quite a few glitches--more than it ought to. Instead of focusing on the fancy stuff I wish they'd get the bugs out of the basic platform first.

Danny said...

I f you are referrin gto authors like Galeano to draw your conclusions, you sure do have a credebility problem. Authors like him are ultra-leftists, who can see nothing positive about the USA,and hence will portray every American action in a negative light.

ShutterSparks said...

Yes, Galeano is very biased but also a highly respected author. I find the facts and point of view interesting. There's more than one way to look at it.

Anonymous said...

CaptNemo- there are times, when there is ONLY ONE WAY to look at things. For example, Osama bin-Laden- there are no two ways to look at his motives. Galeano, probably is not as extreme as bin-Laden, but, his anti-Americanism is so intense, his biases makes anything he says less than credible.
hence outside of American universities, no one takes him seriously. As they should.

ShutterSparks said...

I find it interesting how people readily dismiss fact if they don't like the source. I didn't write my little piece about Galeano nor to defend Galeano. The data he cites are from history and public records. You might not like the conclusions he draws from the data but I think it's obvious. There is a widespread belief that the U.S. is an innocent righteous country and it's simply not so. It's more righteous than many but by no means lily-white. And to even mention Osama bin-Laden and Galeano in the same sentence is absurd. Bin-Laden is a politico-religious revolutionary who hates democracy and wants to overthrow it. Galeano is a Western political philosopher who supports democracy. Just because Galeano has serious criticisms about the behaviors of Europe and the U.S. towards Latin America over the past 500 years does not mean that he hates the U.S. Far from it. The problem behaviors of the U.S. result from the fact that business has co-opted the U.S. government, bought and paid for, and uses the U.S. government and the military as a tool bring riches to themselves. It's not about democracy, it's about unrestrained capitalism.