Monday, November 06, 2006

Is America Really Safer Now?

Is America Really Safer Now?

This question is sure to feature strongly in Republican Party’s campaign to keep the Congress. As the campaign heats up, Mr. Bush and leading Republicans will emphasize how the country is so much safer now and that the proof of this lies in the fact that no terrorist attack has occurred since 9/11. However, on closer examination and a simple analysis of facts, it should make this argument quite hollow. For this purpose, one needs to only answer 2 questions:

Firstly, did the frequency of attacks on US soil decrease based on past history? Secondly, did new government policies effectively lead to the termination of a viable, plausible and probable terrorist threat?

The answer to both these questions is an emphatic NO! Previous to 9/11 attacks, the last 'foreign-borne' terrorist attack occurred on US soil on February 26 1993 on the Trade Center; an interval of nearly 9 years. It has 6 years so far since 9/11, so this question will not be answered in Mr. Bush's tenure! The second question has an obvious answer too. Despite the news-making arrests and 'foiling' of plans over the last several years, there has not been one disruption of a planned attack that met three requirements: viability, plausibility & probability. All the so-called 'sleeper cells' and ‘terror suspects’ have pretty much one thing in common: They visited some assumed terrorist camps in or around Afghanistan where they were allegedly 'trained' and/or they were involved in some manner with 'terrorist causes' outside United States and not related to United States. But, let's get to the bottom-line: Not ONE of these so-called 'cells' had blueprints for an attack on our soil and not ONE of them was even planning for one in realistic ways. So, one does not need a lawyer's degree to understand that so far the administration has failed to prove that there has even been a viable terrorist threat in America or even a plan in the works for such a threat let alone disrupt such a plan.

The ruling party can harp on how they have dismantled Al-Qaida or how Saddam's departure has made us safer here but both these arguments are soft and ring more of rhetoric than substance. Al-Qaida's number 1 & 2 leaders are still on the loose. With all the destruction that US's 'war on terror' has imposed on Afghanistan and Iraq, it is actually now possible that Al-Qaida and other extremist organizations using the cloak of religion, have more substance in winning the hearts of deluded, uninformed Muslims than ever before. The recent National Intelligence Estimate concurs with this premise. Both Iraq and Afghanistan are in tatters, and solutions are not forthcoming, at least in the near future. As for Saddam, he was never a threat to the States. He had nothing to do with 9/11 and even though the Iraqis are better off without a ruthless murderer, Saddam would have never harmed the States. Dictators usually have some common sense to survive as long as they do. And part of common sense would tell Saddam that were he to harm United States or even make plans to do so, he would be wiped out instantly by a superpower's war arsenal.

Unfortunately, many people continue to buy the administration's claims for a safer America, even when the facts don't support it. Knowing what we know now about the false claims about Iraq's WMD and how the administration lied to a nation about a war that has claimed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives and thousands of our soldiers' lives, it is truly baffling how anyone continue to accept the propaganda.

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