Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Red Tape Democracy

Red Tape. n. The collection or sequence of forms and procedures required to gain bureaucratic approval for something, especially when oppressively complex and time-consuming.

Democracy. n. Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives.

While this article in the Christian Science Monitor laments the path that Russia may be taking in its dealing with terrorism, the measures that Putin's Russia seems prepared to implement may be the answer. Another article shows how quickly the Russians have turned to a country that knows how to deal with terrorism, Israel.

For many Russians, there has to be a sense of security in the way things used to be. While freedoms were exactly heralded with the Soviet Union, there was a consistency that has been eroded in an age where Islamic terrorists believe they can manipulate the Russian government with brutal acts.

If only America could act with such swiftness. "But our freedoms" has been the cry since 9/11 with such a volume that our attempts to catch up to where we need to be on the war against terror have proved difficult. No racial profiling in airports. Due process for everyone, by all means. Treat war prisoners like royalty, please. Terrorists have rights too, you know.

One of the most interesting 'non-topics' in the mainstream media the past year has been the success of Israel's dividing wall. The few stories that I have heard or seen about the wall have all been about the injustice of building it and the UN demanding that it be torn down. Few want to admit the truth:

The truth is that despite the ugliness of Israel's wall, it has reduced
Palestinian extremist suicide bombings.

Of course there are a lot of reasons that the Russians would not turn to the United States for help in the war on terror, but among the reasons is that the United States has done little internally. While Russian may emulate America's Bush Doctrine of seeking out and destroying terrorists wherever they hide, it is Israel that Russia is turning to for help and advice on internal security. So should America.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

I agree with the Russian government on this one: do whatever it takes to protect your citizens, and just ignore criticism from the outside. How many people criticize the Patriot Act and other actions taken by the Bush administration? Plenty. Are we safer because of these actions? Certainly. I don't mind giving up a few freedoms if it keeps me from getting blown to bits on my way to work.

Speaking of "blown", be safe down there, Colby, and if Jim Cantore says "don't go outside, you'll die", by all means, stay inside.