How to define success in the war on terror http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2002148323_na12.html
By James J. Na (Guns and ButterBlog, http://gunsandbutter.blogspot.com/)
James J. Na is one of the more intelligent Bloggers and Commentators on Current Events, and could raise the consciousness of Many if read. His article outlines many points which should be understood:
To deter terrorists from launching attacks is better than catching them in the act, but as the official asked, "How do we know whether what we do has a deterrence effect?" In other words, how do we know if our homeland-security measures actually deterred attacks — for there have been none since 9/11 — or have the terrorists merely been waiting and preparing for the "right moment" to strike again?
Preemption can take a long time, requires considerable military-economic resources and is often politically very divisive both inside and outside the United States. Even when the right conditions are met, we cannot pursue every terrorist cell, sanctuary and state sponsor without exhausting our vast, but ultimately limited, resources. Whereas homeland security offers a short-term measure, preemption serves, at best, as a medium-term response to terrorism.
Before the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, the two dominant governing ideologies in the Middle East were corrupt monarchism (Saudi Arabia and Iran) and repressive, socialist dictatorships (Iraq and Syria). Given the absence of any attractive ideology in the region, the appeal of religious purism harnessed to extremism turned out to be irresistible to the many disaffected, including those from privileged backgrounds.
This Author regrets that Na's solution does not offer merit equal to his analysis. It remains basically a traditional adage of introduction of democracy into the Middle East. This equates to a Bandaid on a bullet hole. The Middle East has been as subjected to Warlordism as had China before the rise of Communism. Generations of the Middle East, since the time of the Persian empires, have always lived under corrupt regimes. No Government can pay its Civil Service to ignore the gains of bribery and corruption, which would require effectively making the Civil Service personnel millionaires. Western values are not going to reform Societies which pre-date Western civilization.
Islamic Fundamentalism itself holds the cure to Terrorism. The Iranian Clerics already have lost significant support among the Iranian population, due to the corruption of their own regime. The real panecea for Terrorism resides in allowing the Islamic Fundamentalists to rise to power. Their own corruption will erode popular support, while they become the greatest Protector of Middle Eastern Oil; they needing the Trade credits to maintain themselves in Power. Terrorism will decline due to their found need for Western assistence (requiring Western presence in the Region), and the Masses' realization that religion alone will not produce Salvation(at least no food on the table). lgl