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For those who feel the war on terrorism
could use a little "Structural Adjustment".

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Friday, March 12, 2004

Okay, while we're in the mode of specualtive conjecture to explain the nation's direction, I would like to in a moment present a little flashlight of my own. However, first, I would like to say something about the plane of mercenaries that was apprehended in Zimbabwe this past week. In Robert Mugabe we have one more clear example of the intelligence communtiy underestimating some potentates while overestimating others. Mugabe has a disdain for white people that is broadening into an all out hatred, most of which is directed at America. His government has established compulsory military camps for the nation's youth that teach juveniles how to torture and kill the political opposition, even their own families if necessary. His government is in fact increasing the level of funding provided to these camps. Now mercenaries are found in a plane apparently bound for a coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea and Mugabe immediately blames the U.S., Britain, and Spain and has his prosecutors push for the death penalty for all sixty some soldiers of fortune.

Now, maybe it's because Mugabe doesn't have nucleaar ambitions. Maybe it's because there no longer exists in the region a guerilla faction capable of taking him on. Probably a little has to do with Zimbabwe's lack of petrol reserves, but whatever the reason, the United States has been letting this sore fester much like it did Afghanistan in the nineties.
If President Bush was really serious about fighting terrorism, he would focus his efforts on getting his intelligence to look at the next generation of terrorists and stop their teachers from giving them the tools and the motive to bring atrocities like those in Spain yesterday on us. Root out the seeds of terror in places like Zimbabwe, Columbia, Burma and Indonesia as well as the usual suspects in the Middle East. Also, the lesson from Spain should be that we should be most vigilant about our own backyard.

The United States doesn't internally have an ETA, IRA, FARC or Chechen style separatist movement that is highly organized, skillfully led, and convicted enough to die for their beliefs. We do have highly organized environmental and civil disobedience (including anarchists, ironically) factions, and increasingly organized white supremacist and hate groups. Militias -like the one Oklahoma City bomber Timthy McVeigh belonged to- seem less potent than they were ten years ago, but maybe they have just moved underground. The next major terrorist attack in the United States willl likely come from one of these sources rather than an outside threat coming in. I'm not saying that the threat of foreign terror isn't there, I'm just saying that statistics tell us almost all terrorist attacks are perpetrated at least in part by residents of the country and city vicinity of where the attacks take place.

If you think about it, the last terrorist strikes against the United States weren't on 9/11. The subsequent and still unsolved anthrax mailings as well as the sniper shootings both in D.C. (solved and brought to justice) and Ohio (also unsolved and ongoing) all would easily fit the classic definiton of terrorist attacks. None of these three was likely performed by foreign nationals. As you can see, the Bush team's record in fighting domestic terror doesn't seem that great in this light, even with the Patriot Act.

Bran 3:54 PM : |


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