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Today, I Realized Why America is Losing the War on Terror

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posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 09:50 PM
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Today, I worked as part of a crowd control detail for President-Elect Obama's Inauguration Concert at the Lincoln Memorial. From start to finish, from the moment I entered Washington, D.C. and encountered police and law enforcement agencies of every creed and color, I came to realize why the United States is not winning the Global War on Terrorism.

The culture of fear is real. There is no denying it. The difference is, there are unfortunately opportunists and psychos who believe the culture of fear is part of a sinister conspiracy aimed at subverting and suppressing the good people of the United States. On the other hand, there are sensible people who realize its a product of various circumstances, reactionsand attitudes that have come about as a result of traumatic events such as 9/11.

Washington, D.C. is the capital of the United States, as well as where out president and our government operate. It is definitely understandable that the dominant post-9/11 culture of this city, this area, is one of caution, security, and suspicion. We (all who live in the D.C. area), after all, are essentially in the business of protecting the president and the machinery that keeps our country together. Therefore, unlike many of the conspiracy theorists and opportunists on this board, I do not question the actions taken by our government and by our intelligence and law enforcement agencies to protect this city and our leaders.

What I do question, however, is their attitude. Every police officer and security personnel I encountered carried an air of incredibly high suspicion or even outright hostility, as well as what I saw as concerted efforts towards humiliating and intimidating people who simply may have not known any better or were just trying to cooperate as best they could. Even when asking for directions, it seems like a cop was more interested in determining some non-existent, ulterior motive as opposed to helping me or anybody else out get to work or wherever else they needed to go. The idea of security is completely backwards. Law enforcement and security exists not to serve the people; the people exist to serve law enforcement and security.

What pains me the most is the fact that this is all meant to make us safe. Unfortunately, safety is not just a condition, its a state of mind as well. A person who is objectively, physically safe yet not safe in his/her own mind is a danger of exceptional nature to both themselves and to other around them. That "paranoid man" can wreak incredible havoc on a family and his friends, no matter how right or noble he may be. What I saw in D.C. today maybe aimed at making us physically safe, and its probably achieved its goal. But by no means did it make anyone feel safe. I certainly felt rather afraid and intimidated at times and it was clear most people felt fear as well. Is that safety? Sacrifice happiness, peace of mind, and enjoyment in exchange for the satisfaction that a terrorist attack had been thwarted? I think not.

I am not questioning their methods. I have always been very supportive of our law enforcement and intelligence agencies and if they decide deploying snipers on rooftops and four police cars every street block is the way to protect America, then fine so be it. But must they do their duty with such hostility towards the people they are sworn to protect? Must they intimidate and attempt to humiliate anyone who doesn't fit their mold of the "perfect citizen?" Is the task of protecting the American government and our president so incredibly sacred that they cannot even treat a person with courtesy and polity? I don't care if they scowl at me, a simple "best of luck on finding your way" would've made my day. Instead I spent the day cold, tired, and scared that a single twitch would lead to a trip to MEDSTAR Adult Trauma Center.

This is not an indictment against all law enforcement officials either. Many that I ran into today were extremely courteous and professional. Respect them and they return the favor. Others, you have to make them feel guilty before they remember what they're really there for.

America is losing the war because we've let traumatic events dictate something as fundamental as how we treat our fellow countrymen. Do what we have to do to defend America, turn it into a fortress if we have to. But we shouldn't build fortresses around ourselves. When people say America lost its innocence on 9/11, they weren't kidding. Its time we look at ourselves in the mirror, at those we've hurt, and ask ourselves whether we're worth protecting. I don't know what the answer is anymore.

[edit on 18-1-2009 by sweatmonicaIdo]




posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 10:09 PM
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Originally posted by sweatmonicaIdo
America is losing the war because we've let traumatic events dictate something as fundamental as how we treat our fellow countrymen.


Nah it's nothing so dramatic. It's just that Americans can't stand thier government any longer.



posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 10:14 PM
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reply to post by sweatmonicaIdo
 


Outstanding post and outstanding observations.


However, the truth is 'tone' is set from leadership. Fix that, and the rest would follow.



posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 10:35 PM
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Originally posted by loam
reply to post by sweatmonicaIdo
 


However, the truth is 'tone' is set from leadership. Fix that, and the rest would follow.


Disagree

Everyone is addicted to the money. The only way to fix it and possibly save the country is to blow up the bank, which has been done already. Now we're just watching it's last struggles for survival.



[edit on 18-1-2009 by In nothing we trust]



posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 10:55 PM
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First of all I disagree with the premise that we are "losing the global war on terror".

Including those killed on 9/11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, we have lost what? About 7000 people.

How many have the bad guys lost? Al-Qaeda and the Taliban have lost about 50,000 by their own admission.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq, the insurgents, and others, have lost hundreds of thousands, if you believe the UN and Amnesty International.

If we accept the idea that militant Islam represents only a small fraction of all Muslems. Let's say 1 percent, then they have a pool of about 15 million t draw from.

The Free People's of the World on the other hand number over a billion and together we have lost less than 10,000 in this fight.

So by any measure it is the terror organizations who are losing.

On the rest of the article about attitudes of the DC police. Right now they are way out numbered and highly stressed. After the Inaugurals are over they will get back to business as usual just like the rest of us. I don't think that there is anything abnormal about it.

Before you ask, yes I have been to DC many times since 9/11.



posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 10:55 PM
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I have a mixed reply on this, I mean just growing up in the area, and having many different ocassions to come into contact with police, both metropolitan, Arlington and surrounding areas, to me it is an individual thing, predating the war on terror, some cops always act like they are on the defensive or rude even when asking directions or just walking up to one, some use such an occasion like this as the ultimate high to feed their egos.

Also for these events, they are on the highest of alert, not officer friendlies for the most part and sometimes they might be operating with a little more information supplied to them than you might know as far as prevailing or imminent threats, then couple that with crazy hours and shifts and I bet for these events they are pretty overworked, even though that might not be an excuse for all out rudeness.

I really do not think cops attitudes have changed much, just like anything else you got good cops and bad cops, good security people and bad ones, when it comes down to it, it is a personality thing that generally to become law enforcement they are not looking for you to have the touchy feely, people person attitude as the prerequisite I don't think,
everyone brings a different gameface to the arena, in my opinion.

[edit on 18-1-2009 by phinubian]



posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 11:21 PM
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well as long as i could remember everybody around me has been scared of the police and the gov't. but why are we scared of them? "the people exist to serve law enforcement and security." i live in roanoke, va i-81 goes right thru here ive seen homeland security and mass police swarms(traveling in packs). dont be scared of them just wait for the mitiary to fire the first shot it'll be another revolutionary war.. we as a whole will teach them what a real war on terror is... our leaders live in fear and it rubs onto others. obama is starting his term with pure fear, nothing genetically modified about it or should i say the new word "natural"? they believe every country is out to get them. fear and protecting israel is going to be this nations downfall



posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 11:35 PM
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reply to post by lunarminer
 


You're right. We may not be loosing the war on terror....but I wonder if we are losing our republic?

We've paid a high price it seems for our current form of security.



posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 11:54 PM
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It sounds like you are not convinced the fear is deliberately manufactured?

I would recommend watching Adam Curtis' The Power of Nightmares, where he shows that the neocons(and others) have been following the same playbook as the radical islamists in many ways, including the use of fear to control.



posted on Jan, 19 2009 @ 12:00 AM
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What price have we paid?

I have the same rights that I had on 9/10/01.

I have to take my shoes off when I fly, big whup.

I can't call Osama on my satellite phone, without the FBI listening in, Oh well.

We haven't lost any of our rights that we had before.

The FISA court? That goes back to the 1970's.

By the way, the very first time I flew was in 1973. I had to take off my belt and walk through the metal detector. There were signs all over the place that said that it is illegal to say the word bomb in an airport. These are not new restrictions, it's just that we got comfortable. Then we got hit.



posted on Jan, 19 2009 @ 12:03 AM
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no america is not losing, america created this war...and they want it to continue ...



posted on Jan, 19 2009 @ 12:06 AM
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reply to post by lunarminer
 


you cannot win a war on an unknown enemy.
What is a terrorist? you can define any movement as a terrorist organization if it goes against your belief.
after you take one group of terrorists you then replace them with some other group.
A war on terror is perpetual, it has no end because there is no real defined enemy.



posted on Jan, 19 2009 @ 12:17 AM
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What good is security when every other negative emotion accompanies it?

Analogy: Yeah, I'm secure that I'll never die from skydiving, but what magnitude of truly living am I missing? How much happier would people be, in an on-the-norm idle basis, if they all chanced that level of living once in awhile?

Personally, if my security from terrorists (never mind peanut butter) means I'll constantly be barraged by frowns, rolling-eyes, disrespect, cowardice and paranoia, I'd rather the risk.

I see quite perfectly why the District's security force is seemingly up in arms and on high alert at this time - indeed, it would be foolhardy not to be, but I'll never understand our obvious willingness to give up more than we ought for security's sake. I've thought about this problem we have in great detail, and no matter what has occurred forcing this kind of schizophrenic social science, I'd rather die free than live under an iron curtain, and I'm sure most cops feel the same. I'm sure they feel that almost primordial dissidence within themselves, thus they assume it in others and know they must remain on guard for people who don't have as strong a will to control themselves.

Just how "secure" do you think these cops, security forces and people on the front line feel knowing we've been in other people's neighborhoods for almost a decade instigating hate in every way possible? We've all been there when one of our close friends decides to start a fight in a bar or something...it truly doesn't matter who with.

I have the greatest utmost respect for these forces of ours, for no matter their respective force, amount of stress or personal views (and there are plenty who don't subscribe to what our government is doing) they are doing there jobs with an integrity unheard of by most people. You can believe that they see chaos just waiting for an opportunity to burst at the seams on a daily basis, yet they forge ahead like real...uhm...troopers.


Bravo, I say. Give em the benefit of the doubt for now, yeah?

EDIT: From the feel of the OP's post, I don't think the War on Terror is nearly as close to his point as the behavior he is witnessing from those charged with our protection, thus my reply. As for the minuscule "war on terror" aspect(?), a war on terror is an everlasting gobstopper with the pure flavor of wealth, for it has no clearly objective enemy to eradicate. Its premise and vague definition of the word 'terrorist' provides an ever-expanding group of 'bad guys' to target. It will never end as there will always be some evil to make money off of (Oops, I mean protect us from).

Anybody ever been skydiving?

[edit on 19-1-2009 by lagnar]



posted on Jan, 19 2009 @ 12:17 AM
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You imply that the War on Terror has a moving target. I have not seen that. The President very clearly stated that State Sponsors of Terror and radicalized Islamic terrorists are the target. So far, we have not strayed from that.

I am sure that you will bring up Iraq. To that I will respond that Saddam was in fact a State Sponsor of Terror. For instance he was paying the families of suicide bombers $25,000 each.

Also, the first bombing of the WTC had connections to Iraq through Ramsey Yusef.

Then there was the attempted assassination of the former President Bush.



posted on Jan, 19 2009 @ 12:20 AM
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Originally posted by lunarminer
What price have we paid?

I have the same rights that I had on 9/10/01.


You can only believe that because you so poorly understood the rights you had before they were redefined and taken away from you.




Originally posted by lunarminer
I have to take my shoes off when I fly, big whup.


My complaints aren't about taking off shoes at airports.



Its about:

...the degradation of the rule of law and due process, where habeas corpus can be suspended...where secret courts, secret renditions and secret prisons can endure...where torture is deployed...where unequal accountability thrives...where fraud, waste and abuse is commonplace.

Its about the end of private property.

Need I mention the 'unitary executive' point of view?

The 'war-time president' point of view, in the context of a poorly defined war, with a poorly defined enemy, poorly defined objectives and a poorly defined end?

I could go on for hours...


Originally posted by lunarminer
I can't call Osama on my satellite phone, without the FBI listening in, Oh well.


Apparently, no one calls Osama Bin Laden....or the US Government would have found him by now.


So much for that useful, indiscriminate, extra-judicial wiretapping.




Originally posted by lunarminer
We haven't lost any of our rights that we had before.


No, of course not.


Must be mighty warm and toasty in that cocoon you've built for yourself there.




[edit on 19-1-2009 by loam]



posted on Jan, 19 2009 @ 12:23 AM
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Originally posted by munkey66
reply to post by lunarminer
 


you cannot win a war on an unknown enemy.
What is a terrorist? you can define any movement as a terrorist organization if it goes against your belief.
after you take one group of terrorists you then replace them with some other group.
A war on terror is perpetual, it has no end because there is no real defined enemy.


You folks are perpetually in need of someone to hate. And I totally agree with your post Munkey66. Anyone opposing can be a terrorist, or 'enemy combatant'. And I want to bring up that there are more "terrorists" now than there ever were before Bush invaded, having to do not with citizens having radical views, but merely defending their homeland or avenging their bombed wives and children. Im sure you would do the same, I know I certainly would join any cause offhand as long as I could get my revenge. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

America has always been at war with Indigenous people/Canadian British/Krauts/Nazis/Japs/North Koreans/VietCong/Russians/Iraq/Afghanistan/General Terrorists/Iran?




Originally posted by lunarminer
Then there was the attempted assassination of the former President Bush.

Maybe because he illegally invaded a sovereign country who used to be a key ally of the US..?



posted on Jan, 19 2009 @ 12:27 AM
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It isn't just police officers that can be rude and unfriendly.

We all encounter rude people every day... store clerks, other drivers, etc.

Why should the police be any different than all the other rude people out there?



posted on Jan, 19 2009 @ 12:33 AM
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reply to post by craig732
 


Because with increased public authority should come increased accountability and a materially different standard of care.


I don't want grumpy 'clerks' for my public officials.


Why do you?


[edit on 19-1-2009 by loam]



posted on Jan, 19 2009 @ 01:33 AM
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Yes, I see that you refer to the combatants detained in Gitmo.

I would point out that the rule of habeus corpus applies to civil law and not military law.

The detainees are subject to military law, since they were taken off the battlefield.

According to the Geneva Conventions combatants are not allowed to be tried in civil court but must be tried in military court in the same manner that a member of the armed forces of the country holding them. This is because it was believed by the GC that a civil court would impose harsher punishments. This is because a civil court might try a soldier for murder, while a military court would understand the job of a soldier is to kill the enemy.

I just love it when people in this country who do not understand the GC, and have never read it, then demand that it be applied. Then they bitch because it has been applied.

My rights to habeus corpus, search and seizure limitations, wiretapping protections, none of that have changed.

If you think that they have, then write to your Congressman. They are the ones who wrote and passed the Patriot Act that you seem so opposed to. Maybe Obama will recind it?


Don't hold your breath.



posted on Jan, 19 2009 @ 01:54 AM
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reply to post by lunarminer
 


You obviously don't know my post history very well.

I'll leave you to your distortions and paint-by-numbers approach to discussion.


*yawn*


[edit on 19-1-2009 by loam]



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