Monday, January 4, 2010

Closing the Gap

Monday, January 4, 2010

There are a lot of places where we must close the gap.

We must close the achievement gap in academia between Black America and other segments of our melting pot if we are going to ensure true, unmitigated equality for all.

We must close the gap between our spending and our revenue as a nation (and, as well, as states and individual families) if we are going to reclaim our independence as a free people capable of steering our own destiny.

Most importantly, though, is that we must close the gap in how we approach terrorism - particularly regarding ideology, methodology, and delivery.

The ideology that many of these "isolated" incidents coming from the skies, within the homeland, and overseas is rapidly becoming a recipe for a repeat disaster. Only the miscalculations of a young, rookie terrorist stood between the United States and another terror attack conducted on a domestic flight. Despite the reluctance of the Obama Administration to be portrayed as a Bush successor when dealing with the problem of international terrorism, it is evident that the domestic approach of high moral and ethical dealings with suspected terrorists (including providing them access to the rights afforded American citizens within the criminal justice system) only extends a gap in protection where fearlessness on the part of al Queda and their cohorts has been utilized to make headway in the fight against America. In the improper view that this is less of a war (as undertaken by the Bush Administration) and more of a retaliation against those that caused September 11, the United States has promoted an underestimation of the efforts our combatants will go in order to cause harm and, thus, an underestimation by the American public as to the depths that the government may take (e.g., resources, fronts, etc.) in order to secure victory - and safety - for Americans. People have long since chimed in on President Bush for his actions throughout his presidency concerning the globe due to 9/11. However, many seemingly overlook the role that the Clinton Administration had on the development of this terror situation, losing opportunities to snuff out the bin Laden influence before it reached its current heights. This miscalculation included a misstep by the Clinton Administration to treat the 1993 World Trade Center bombing as a criminal act, not an act of war against the nation.

Sound familiar?

That leads to the problem with methodology. Granted, opposition to the current positioning by the Obama Administration does not mean that the problems within the Bush Administration - everything from the disagreements between Cheney and Powell that led to the general's resignation as Secretary of State to the behavior coming out of Abu Ghraib. However, where the Obama Administration must look to take a page from the previous presidency is on the methodology to maintain security of American citizens. The current prospective that "ethical persuasion will ensure protection" is inaccurate as evidenced by 2009. Obama's Peace Prize aside, nothing that the president and his staff have "won" over the course of the past 12 months through the moderated viewpoints on Israel, Islam, and U.S. presence in the Middle East has persuaded our terroristic enemies to move away from the all-out, do-or-die (literally) mentality that has shaped their efforts for years now. Continuing to give terrorists the American criminal treatment of "innocent until proven guilty" when these combatants are caught red-handed and proudly admitting their guilt is an extreme case of oversight on the part of foreign policy leadership at this time.
And with a misguided view on the methodology to employ in combating terrorism, it is no wonder that the delivery has been frightfully full of gaps, most recently found in Newark, New Jersey.
The "disappearance" of a suspect that broke security lines in the New Jersey airport this week echoes the same issues of concern that were highlighted in the Christmas near-miss. Without a mentality and a method that understands and promotes the reality that we live in - that we are a nation at war with a nationless and dangerous enemy - we are incapable of providing the types of solutions that will be necessary to overcome this situation. The gaps in security coming from TSA pale in comparison to the gaps in leadership that we are seeing regarding the guidance that those on the ground need from Washington in order to proactively win these battles before any drama plays out. Until we get to a point where the gaps between the obvious and the elitist points of view are closed out with any sense of urgency and success, we can continue to expect to find gaps in Homeland Security that, while praised incorrectly and prematurely by its leader, will be exploited by al Queda until we suffer another tragedy on American soil.

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