Archive for Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Intelligence is key

August 15, 2006


To the editor:

Despite statements by columnists like Cal Thomas, we are not at "war on terrorism," we are at war with Iraq, as we have been without sufficient troops, or adequate equipment, and intelligence, since 2003. Although we have captured Saddam Hussein, we have not stabilized the country or even the city of Baghdad. We have wasted billions of dollars and U.S. and Iraqi lives without accomplishing our mission.

Warrior columnists may rattle sabers, but because of the Iraq war we do not have the will or resources to go to war with Syria, Iran or North Korea. That may be a good thing. Peaceful negotiations could be more successful than military action.

Terrorists are criminals, not soldiers - their methods are crimes. Preventing their crimes takes good intelligence and police work. The British did not prevent the destruction of 10 or 11 airliners this month by bombing Pakistan or east London. They used police work by intelligence officers with language skills and contacts among disaffected groups. In dealing with Irish terrorists earlier, they did not bomb Belfast.

We should have started training intelligence officers in Farsi and Arabic when our Iranian embassy was seized in the Carter administration. We did not. We continue to rely on "good old boys" like those who let Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen continue as double agents for years in CIA and FBI headquarters. No concern for civil liberties prevents monitoring overseas suspects, but we cannot translate what they say. Intelligent police work, not war, is the answer.

Mary Davidson,



Speakout 11 years, 10 months ago

You are right on the money, Miss Davidson. Thank you for this accurate accounting of what is happening.

But the whole mess is geared to protecting our good buddy Israel who occupies a people ILLEGALLY. Read UN Resolution 242 that clearly states that Israel should stop building settlements in the West Bank, and pull their army out of it as well. This land is Palestinian territory. If this is done, the wars will stop and so will the Israeli expansion. This is the Arab goal - to contain Israel from taking more of Arab land.

Our news agencies make it look different. They make it look like the Israelis are protecting themselves by killing more and more Palestinians. They should pull back, build a fence ON THE BOARDER, and live in peace. They will always be outnumbered.

prioress 11 years, 10 months ago

Israel ignores UN resolutions when it is to their advantage, and whines when others ignore certain resolutions not to their advantage.

prioress 11 years, 10 months ago

To cut to the chase: "My god can beat up your god." Been going on for 1,500+ years. Until god and politics are separated, we shall see much more of the same, in Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. Meanwhile, our real 'enemy' (AKA the Saudis) funds the schools where terrorists are born and hatred for America is the curriculum. Being whores for oil hurts, doesn't it?

Jamesaust 11 years, 10 months ago

"Read UN Resolution 242 that clearly states that Israel should stop building settlements in the West Bank, and pull their army out of it as well."

False (and knowingly false, I note). R. 242 calls for Israel to withdraw from land occupied in the 1967 fighting as part of mutual recognition of all Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and Syria's (no Palestine) sovereignty and the concomitant right for all to live in peace and security behind "secure and recognized" borders.

As with so many issues involving Israel, it is instructive how much gets "read out," leaving only Israel non-compliant on interdependent terms. Speakout - if you can deliver the Arabs' part, I bet Condi can deliver the Israelis.

"This land is Palestinian territory."

Perhaps false, perhaps not. The territories in question are remnants of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire almost a century ago. The United Nations has made several proposals over the years for a division of the territories between an Israeli and a Palestinian state. So far, no agreement has been forthcoming from Arabs living in these territories to establish a state within these international terms (although sometimes they have come close). Before this Gaza quasi terrorist / quasi political party "Hamas" kidnapped some Israeli soldiers and started shooting rockets across the border (no, this is the first situation - the more infamous other one in Lebanon is a copycat), the Palestinian Authority President was planning a referendum on seeking approval to again start negotiating with Israel. (Certain parties with objectives other than peace didn't like that idea, leaving - again - the Palestinians in the lurch with nothing.)

Since 1967, Egypt has renounced claims to the territories it occupied (Gaza) and Jordan has renounced claims to the territories it occupied (the West Bank, East Jerusalem). All states, including Israel, stand prepared to allocate the unallocated territories to a Palestinian state when and if the "details" - including the mandatory mutual recognition between Israel and Palestine - can ever be worked out.

"They should pull back, build a fence ON THE BOARDER [?], and live in peace."

Have you read a newspaper lately? LJW produces one every day. Take a gander. (Indeed, I note with exceeding irony that 'pull back-build a fence-live in peace' is the hardline Israeli/neocon American position. I would guess that it has failed.)

bunnyhawk 11 years, 10 months ago

The editor's headline for Ms Davidson's excellent letter says it all........INTELLIGENCE is key. Not just spy intel, but foreign policy informed by well educated, intelligent, forward thinking people............not a bunch of GREEDY ideologues!

ASBESTOS 11 years, 10 months ago

Uh, OH spanky. If you are concerned with "erosion of Civil Liberties" and then give kudos to the Britich for their "intelligence gathering" while bashing our current form of "intelligence gahtering", that is a paradox!!

The Biritch use coerced interrogation, remember, our liberals call that "torture", the Britich use "profiling", remember what that is called here...racism!

This is one of the most incoherent posts on terrorism I have read in ANY paper.

To bash the US because "concern about Civil Liberties", and then to trumpet the British on their intelligence gathering using methods, that the liberal left would be screaming about at the top of their lungs in ..disingenous, it is actually ...dishonest and intentionally misleading.

You can't have it both ways, and opposing policy just because of a hatred of Bush really puts liberals in this incoherent circular logic.

Speakout 11 years, 10 months ago

75X55 The government of Israel is the one who has lied to the world. They talk about security while imposing their will on all of the Palestinian people. I have included a very interesting resolution:

U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 242 NOVEMBER 22, 1967 The Security Council,

Expressing its continuing concern with the grave situation in the Middle East,

Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security,

Emphasizing further that all Member States in their acceptance of the Charter of the United Nations have undertaken a commitment to act in accordance with Article 2 of the Charter,

Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:

Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;

Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;

Affirms further the necessity

For guaranteeing freedom of navigation through international waterways in the area;

For achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem;

For guaranteeing the territorial inviolability and political independence of every State in the area, through measures including the establishment of demilitarized zones;

Requests the Secretary General to designate a Special Representative to proceed to the Middle East to establish and maintain contacts with the States concerned in order to promote agreement and assist efforts to achieve a peaceful and accepted settlement in accordance with the provisions and principles in this resolution;

Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council on the progress of the efforts of the Special Representative as soon as possible.

ISRAEL HAS YET TO PULL OUT OF OCCUPIED TERRITORIES. WHEN WILL THAT HAPPEN? If that happens, the Arabs will have to accept Israel as a state, but they will not until they pull out of ALL occupied territories. THIS IS THE BIGGEST STUMBLING BLOCK TO PEACE.

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