City Journal Autumn 2014

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Autumn 2014
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Judith Miller
Somber Linings « Back to Story

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Liked the article, but when is SOMEONE going to address immigration policies and WHO gets into this country...ie;;;visas of all types, political/asylum refugees etc. Discussion needs to occur relative to protecting OUR land and people...ie; prevention instead of preparing for responses. I think we have done that . Let's limit the number of people that can come here for a couple years and see how that works out. Tired of hearing about us taking everybody into this country. It's time to secure our people and this land . Thx, Tom San Diego
What happened in Boston that broke things open was sheer luck. DHS made no contribution whatsoever.

The Tsarnaev brothers had the bad luck to walk into an on-going armed robbery at a Seven-Eleven.

Not their robbery. Some punk doing his own jack.

Of course Ms. Miller can argue that wasting $1-trillion on anti-terrorism tomfoolery may well have contributed to the failures of our public health and education and job training systems, which failures produce our surfeit of armed robbers in the first place.

The better for privatized prisons. And for NeoCon profiteering generally. And for fear. And of course there is no such thing as a "society" and you are in no way your brother's keeper. Or not.
Wow.................... As an Oklahoman, I am having a difficult time with the Obama bureaucrats patting themselves on the back. Take this "Local and state first responders in Boston knew exactly what to do, thanks partly to the hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of hours of training provided by the Department of Homeland Security."

The Murrah bombing in 1995 was where the process of federal, state and local governments working together to address such situations began to be developed. The Oklahoma Standard was born then. I will not dwell on what occurred. The lessons of OKC seem to have been forgotten. A visit to the museum and the memorial could (wishful thinking) benefit these bureaucrats.

Tomorrow is April 19 and 18 years ago, the Murrah Building was bombed. Sunday, April 28, the OKC marathon will be run -- The Race to Remember. They are asking the runners to wear red socks so that those in Boston can be remembered along with those we lost 18 years ago. Will any of the lessons be remembered?
It's funny -- and telling -- that the Liberals always attack the person, and not the rationale upon which their conclusions are based.

Over many years, I've come to realize that many people:

- Learned WHAT to think, rather than HOW to think

- Believe that effort and good intentions count for more than actual results achieved

- Think that because everyone has an equal right to an opinion (which is true), that means that everyone's opinion is equally thought-out, and of equal merit (which obviously isn't true)

In my own experience over the years, Liberals demonstrate these "problems" far more than moderates and conservatives. And that's the real problem we have as a country going forward.

I heard a very wise comment on the radio today from a policeman. He said we ALL need to be just as vigilant in public as at airports. It doesn't hurt to ask someone if the bag at their feet belongs to them. Perhaps that could have saved some people from losing their limbs or life. We're still in a war of terror and will be for many years to come. NEVER STOP BEING AWARE OF WHO IS AROUND YOU!
B. S. Davis – very well-reasoned observation regarding the ease of physical entry into this country. As Mark Steyn recently said: “when a population the size of Australia’s can casually stroll across our borders and take up permanent residence …...”. The unacknowledged danger in Australia’s entire census count inviting themselves into our country is that our government can only respond by compartmentalizing the terrorism problem – legal or illegal border crossers pose no dangers unless they are terrorists and then a different agency, the FBI, handles that specific risk. It’s as if we believe we’re actually controlling the danger by parceling out responsibility among separate federal agencies based on their unsupported speculation as to each entrant’s current and future intentions.

How we in the citizenry can believe a problem of this nature can be compartmentalized into safe illegal immigrants versus dangerous visitors is puzzling – and ultimately a blank check to be violated. It’s pointless here to address both the media’s and the federal government’s bias regarding immigration and loose border security; we’re all fully aware of that particular bias and the self-serving politics which drive it. But a collective shoulder shrug on the part of us average citizens is a textbook recipe for future terrorists’ bombings and an unexplainable shortcut into reality avoidance.
It seems worth pointing out that our considerable improvements in handling terrorism-related issues have not come independently. We have learned an enormous amount through the example of Israel, as well as through actual technical assistance and instruction from Israel (e.g., in this case, see http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-trained-medical-team-responded-to-boston-attack/). Few have had more experience or developed more expertise in dealing with this sort of thing than they have.
Brutalsale: You got that right - if the President had an "R" after his name how soon would it be before the Democratic media would be telling the country what a dingbat we have in the White House, and how it was the incompetence of the commander in chief that led to what happened. After all it wasn't long after 9/11 before we were being told ad nauseum that the Bush Administration was criminally negligent in handling terrorism, and that such negligence led directly to what happened on 9/11.

In fact, it is shocking at how good the Democratic media is at bending the news in a manner that makes Democratic politicians and policies look good and Republican/conservative policies look bad. It is a testament to how truly awful Democrats are that Republicans are able to get elected at all. Look at what happened in Boston - what we got yesterday was a sickening conga line of policians and others all of them congratulating each other on the job they were doing - this included Elizabeth Warren's obligatory and somewhat puzzling if self serving boot licking of the Obama Administration.

If we had a Republican President we would already be hearing the criticism and claims of incompetence. I'm not sure what is more breath taking - the ability of Democratic media to spin a story or crisis, or the readiness of those shallow enough, or effected by a lifetime of conditioning, to believe the nonsense being written and said by Democratic media.
This is all good news, I guess, but the fact that what happened happened points to the difficulty of handling security in a free (and now) multi-cultural society. We can stop a hundred attempts but all the bad guys have to do is be successful once.

I think few people appreciate how difficult it is to stop people from intentionally committing these acts - especially since the government under Obama - and Bush - and Clinton have done so little about border enforcement. All one has to do is consider the loads of foreign made illegal drugs and millions of illegal immigrants out there to understand how poorly we are at making sure that nothing untoward gets over here from somewhere else. If people by the millions can come here illegally, and drugs by the ton how hard would it be to smuggle - you name it.

Also how about responding to the story, not the writer? I don't have any problem with JM - after all, the CIA - the so called 'experts' got it wrong as well. Plus we were in the era immediately after 9/11 when the world looked to be a very unfriendly place (still is, probaly even more so) where these types of tings were much more plausible. How quickly we forget!
Sorry, Judith, but the alphabet soup of agencies you're giving credit to had little to do with the number of horrifically-injured folks' survival. The quick and selfless actions of many spectators, like the famed Mr. Arredondo, the fact that the city of Boston may be the world's foremost center of medical expertise and home to many excellent teaching hospitals and, finally, that the finish line is yards from a medical tent manned by volunteers from these hospitals.
What disturbs me is that, in spite of the billions spent on training, two abandoned bags next to a mailbox aroused no suspicion.
We can rationalize our recent failure but 3 people are dead, several have lost legs and arms, many more were wounded. None of this high tech equipment, layered organizational structures, widespread surveillance or prompt response being described prevented the bombing or provided an effective warning.

That’s exactly the realization terrorism strives to achieve and its primary goal. How many of us rely on sheer blind luck to avoid terrorism? How many of us rely solely on our government to protect us, not after the fact, but to actually prevent us from being harmed? Terrorists realize the sheer blind luck defense is what innocents always rely on. Widespread loss of confidence in our government is what terrorists promote by demonstrating that only sheer blind luck can be relied on – slow runners escaped harm, as did the fast runners and therefore what other conclusion makes sense?

Governments try to counter this ugly lesson with organization, manpower and technology. What else can they do? Well-meaning and competent, our government folks do a good job that can only result in closing the barn door once the horses along with the tractor, several pigs and numerous chickens have left the barn.

Our coping mechanism is to posit a real but immeasurable success in preventing even more bombings, more killings by terrorists. But, deep down, we can’t possibly know how many attacks were actually prevented by our rational precautions. Still, we must as a nation cope in some fashion and massive security expenditures is our current practice. Nevertheless, in a target rich environment, terrorists will continue to succeed from time to time – we’ll have to accept that or become the type of brutal, overly suspicious citizenry we all abhor.
Ten years ago, the President didn't have experts at "resilience" like Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn at his side to offer advice and guidance.
I have trusted City Journal for many years - hard not to, after reading a half dozen Heather McDonald articles. I looked here for at least an unbiased approach to whatever subject I was reading about. Now that Judith Miller is here, I obviously can't do this anymore. Trusting the Obama and/or Bloomberg regimes are fool's errands. So is believing anything found in a sentence written by Judith Miller.
DC:

Who says Miller ever stopped "being a mouthpiece for neo-con warmongers"?

You can take the gal out of the New York Times. But you can't take the New York Times out of the gal.

Ditto for her neoconservative jingoism.
DHS may be the agency people "love to hate" (especially the TSA), but there is one place where it should be expanded: visa issuance.

Currently low level State Department people issue visas to foreign nationals who wish to come to the U.S. There is no institutional push for them to put U.S. security ahead of international comity. Adding ICE personnel in every embassy for this role would enhance our security and safety.
I'm surprised Judith Miller isn't going back to being a mouthpiece for neo-con war mongers like she did for Cheney, Perl, et al.
Mordor's agents are everywhere, even visibly self-identified. There may be sub-stations, but as we adults, not Potterites, recall, the little commoner was sent to reach the source itself...once upon a time. DHS is defending or trying to protect by defense, the little folks' villages hereabouts, but Mordor is not sleeping.
Fabling this situation, wot?