The second very important, very difficult, very long-term step in defeating the incredibly dangerous enemy we face as a nation is to seriously beef up intelligence. And even though many (including President Bush) tout technology all day long as the answer to national security- and every other kind of problems, I’m not buying it. We’ve got technology coming out of our ears, but we still can’t stop the insurgency in Iraq or secure the southern border or quell Iran’s or North Korea’s aspirations for nuclear weapons they can hand out to the highest bidder.
The bottom line is that you can’t beat back evil until you’ve got boots on the ground blending in with it. Until we have WAY more native- and extremely-well-trained Arabic-speaking operatives infiltrating every corner of the worldwide terrorist network, we’re never going to defeat it.
- If we had a guy in the next cave over from Osama, he’d be dead right now.
- If we had operatives in even 20% of the terrorist cells in Iraq, we’d be twice as far into ending that horrific situation.
- If we had been inside Al-Qaeda 10 years ago, maybe there wouldn’t have been a 9-11.
Campus Watch, a fascinating site that watch-dogs the Middle East, published an amazing article on this topic back in 2003. I think the following quote says it very well…
In the intelligence war, Islamists have a distinct advantage. Among the ranks of Islamist radicals are thousands who have studied in the United States, speak serviceable English, and can move with ease in American society. How many field agents of American intelligence can move at ease in the Islamist milieu? German and British universities once produced spies who could speak half a dozen Arab dialects and recite the Koran from memory. Today’s only superpower cannot recruit enough Arabic translators to handle routine intercepts.
Check out the entire article at:
We’re never going to win this war until we unravel this trend and reverse it. First, we should spend whatever money is necessary to entice the best and the brightest in the Arabic community into the CIA. I’m sure we’re already doing some of that. Whatever efforts are in play there, let’s double them. However, this isn’t the only action necessary. Next we have to address the problem that nobody wants to do the work.
Here’s the rub, and it’s two fold…
- Too many people think America is the problem, and
- There’s a definite cross-section of the Muslim world that wants to play out a world domination kill-everyone-not-like-me scenario, who will hate America no matter what we do, because we represent freedom and they hatefreedom. And of course they would. Freedom means that people think for themselves instead of strapping bombs on and blowing themselves up for Allah. (Ever notice that the leaders ordering the strikes are never the ones blowing themselves up. Hmmm….)
The problem in recruiting the average Muslim today is that they not only don’t believe in America and in her cause of freedom. Many of them think America is the evil player here, because they’ve been fed that garbage since before they could walk. And it doesn’t help that there are so many others in America (stemming back to the Vietnam era) who agree and enforce their delusions. Stack on top of all that the jealousy that exists around the world of this amazingly great nation, and it’s a lethal formula for breeding Jihadists around the world. So, this has to be fixed. I know many would advocate giving stuff to the terrorists and others who hate us until they like us more, but I just don’t see how that’s going to work with irrational fanatical killers. Didn’t work so well the 1930’s. I think we should learn from that lesson (*shoots piercing look at France*). Let me unpack it…
Part of having the stomach to fight this war is to realize that can’t have our cake and eat it to — not all the time. You’re going to read this theme a couple of times in my top-ten series. We’ve gotta be tougher. This isn’t some game in the fantasy Utopian socialist dreamland that some want to live in. This is war, and there’s a very real enemy that would dance in the streets if they could wipe out every single man, woman and child on this continent.
As long as the ACLU is running around with the brevado and the power to call “unconstitutional” anything and everything that makes anyone in America (except white males and Christians, of course — nobody cares about them) feel a little bad, then we’re never going to be able to rally the power necessary to defend ourselves — let alone defeat a brutal enemy. As long as there are cameras mixed in with Marines so that pundants halfway around the world can arm-chair-quarterback every single call made by every single battle commander, we’re just plain screwed. As long as liberals can oppose every single program the US government has tried to put in place to fight terrorism since 9-11 just because it’s a Republican executive branch proposing it, and yet never propose any concrete alternative plans, then we’ll never be victorious. As long as we care more about our own comfort and all the things we feel we’re entitled to, we’re making it a veritable certainty that one of these days Seattle or Philadelphia or Chicago is going up in a blaze of glory we’ll call “9-11 Two, The Cost of Enduring Apathy”. (It’s okay though; I’m sure Michael Moore will throw together a great “documentary”.)
So, with that
introduction rant out of the way, here’s what I think we need to do (and the ACLU is gonna love this)… Instead of giving them things to try to make them happy in the hopes that they’ll like us more (they’re laughing at us, by the way), we need to drop the hammer on the troublemakers. Both in America and in Iraq, we need to shut down the militants. We already have hate speech and sudition crimes on the books. We’ve gotta start putting them to work. We do that by profiling the people that are plotting to destroy the free world, and cut off their access to brainwashing their public. Unless we keep the poison out of the ears and eyes of the average Arabic-American teenager (or Iraqi teenager for that matter), we’ll never be able to recruit them into the service of this country (to whom they owe their freedom and prosperity). And without better intelligence on the ground in Iran and elsewhere (the result of their service), we may not survive long enough to debate the issue.
I’m sorry that means cutting off some “free speech” for a select few, but the truth is that it hasn’t been very free lately. It’s costing us a lot, actually. And the freedom to say and do what I want was never meant to come without responsibility and cost. In other words, you don’t have the right to plot to overthrow your government. If the local Mulla has told little Joey 74 million times by age 16 that America is the Great White Satan, then how effective do you think the FBI or the CIA will be at recruiting him at age 19 to spy on Ahmadinejad in Tehran or on the local Al-Qaeda cell in the Seattle?
And I’m not suggesting we start blanket-censoring people with divergent ideas. This is about harmful and seditious speech. We put everyday FBI agents (lots of them) on the ground in American masques, and if Fred the Cleric gets all “we hate America” and “death to the Zionists”, then Fred gets removed from his position of authority and thrown in jail. I know it sounds ugly, but if we don’t stop the brainwashing (and frankly start a little brainwashing of our own in the right direction), we’ll never get anywhere. Regulating it is important, I agree. Not turning it into some kind of crazed witch hunt is too. But playing with kid-gloves isn’t going to work anymore — in fact, it really hasn’t worked too well to date either. If we don’t have the stomach to fight this war — which is based on an ideology of hatred and death — then again, we may not survive to debate it. Take the gloves off in the propaganda arena, and though a few people will scream that their rights were violated, literally millions of lives could be saved in the process.
Summary: Recruit more Arabic spies, and cut the head off the propaganda machine to make that possible.