Saturday, June 30, 2007
  "Amateurish"

Listening to some of the "terror analysts" being interviewed, particularly someone named Bill Durodie on Fox. Durodie pulled a classic bit of leftist bad logic, and didn't get called on it. He said we need to avoid over-reacting; we need to be careful about closing down public places or detaining suspects without warrants. Those are two precisely opposite actions. Closing down public places without specific reason is indeed over-reacting, and does indeed fall into the category of "letting them win", though I find that phrase abhorrent. Detaining suspects without jumping through all the legalistic hoops is NOT over-reacting. The distinction is obvious. Closing down or over-tightening public places would interfere with INNOCENT people and would weaken our culture and economy, which is what Osama wants. Interning everyone who ever attended a mosque would amount to taking the GUILTY out of circulation, which will increase our security without interfering with any innocent people.

We are in a war, dammit. After six years, we still haven't figured out who the enemy is, and what we're fighting for. Or rather, we [the people] have figured it out just fine, but our governments haven't.

Another piece of bad logic is the notion that these particular attackers in London and Glasgow are "amateurish". We don't know that at all, and the continued use of that term will cause us to underestimate the enemy. The Mercedes near the nightclub was a fully professsional bomb, which would have caused huge damage if it hadn't been detected and disarmed. That's not a failure or bad engineering; it's a case of excellent and courageous police work. The threat was absolutely professional, but the police were more professional and perhaps a bit lucky. The Glasgow car-into-airport appears to have been less effective in causing death and destruction, but it still succeeded in closing down the airport indefinitely. That's not a failure, and it may have been the fully intended plan.

Reminder: In a war, not every shot or bomb hits a target. In WW2, it's estimated that 10000 bullets were fired for each achieved death, and 100 bombs were dropped for each achieved death. War is inefficient.
 


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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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