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Terrorism in America

Vail Daily Editorial BoardVail CO, Colorado

George Bush & Co. were going to make us all safer from terrorists by launching a war in Iraq, but the latest National Intelligence Estimate shows just the opposite to be true. A hobbled al-Qaida is now resurgent, emboldened by a disastrous war thats been a terrorist recruiters dream.Terror groups also enjoy a safe haven in Pakistan, while an opium-fueled Taliban gathers strength and influence across the border in Afghanistan.And have we, as a public, rolled over and gone back to sleep? The shocked silence of September, 2001 has changed to where late-night comedians can now joke about the terror attacks. The Department of Homeland Security and the legions of white-shirted TSA agents at the airports seem more of a distraction or an inconvenience than the frontline against terrorism. According to the latest report from Mike McConnell, director of national intelligence, theyre on their way. The Iraq wing of al-Qaida is recruiting Sunni extremists while attempting to partner with other groups capable of launching attacks in the U.S. When this all may come about is mostly speculation, but al-Qaida is known for its patience. On the other hand, the U.S. government hasnt exactly been a fountain of precise, accurate intelligence lately, so maybe this latest assessment is completely off the mark.But we should assume it isnt. We should also look toward recent events in Great Britain that suggest good police work and intelligence are greater tools against terrorist attacks than, say, invading countries devoid of terrorists. As we contemplate this latest assessment on our enemies presumed actions, then look ahead to a changing of the administration in early 2009, we can only hope the new commander-in-chief will have the leadership it takes to act on real intelligence. And we can hope he or she will confront threats with rational solutions that yield results. Alex Miller for the Editorial Board


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