I’ve wanted to be President since I was 19. Being British seems a bit of an obstacle though. :mad:
America could push forward the middle east peace process by threatening to withdraw aid to Israel if they did not co-operate with Palestine in the creation of a Palestinian state. Admittedly it might not make America a vast number of friends in Israel, but without external pressure peace does not seem to be achievable.
Even once a settlement has been reached I think it will be at least a generation before the bitterness settles down, possibly longer, which means that the whole international community has to be on hand to ensure that the process continues.
A combination of financial carrot and stick to both parties seems to be the way to go.
This leaves us with institutionalized hatred of Western philosophies and society for a range of reasons; from female sexuality/sufferage to rule of objective law. The latter underpins all sophisticated commercial and industrial systems and is inherently unachievable under the Islamic state, which is a supertribal entity where government is primarily arbitrage between associations of extended families. Only a radical restructuring of Islamic culture will end this conflict.
I like this one - need a really bit stick and an even huger carrot though, and need to have the balls to back it up. I doubt this is the case, or we would have walked away from Israel long ago IMO.
So what else can we hold over their head? Militarily they can stand on their own 2 feet now - they have done so repeatedly against the massed armies of local nations, and I think economically as well - they don’t seem to need much aid from us anymore.
So what else can we do, arm their enemies? We need to try something to get Israel to the bargaining table…
Militarily Israel might be able to stand on it’s own two feet, but I understand that they are the largest recipient of financial aid from the US with Egypt being the second largest. I will try to find a cite to back up this assertion. So whether they are truely economically stable is debatable (sp.?). In fact in this age of globalisation I don’t think any country can stand alone financially from the rest of the world.
I also heard an interview with an Israeli on BBC Radio 4 a few days ago where it was stated that Israel as a jewish state can only survive if immigration into the country increases as the arabic population (currently about 20%) is growing faster than the jewish community.
I think this gives the US some bargaining chips if only they can find the determination to use them.
- MOST IMPORTANT: force AIPAC to register as foreign agents. Have every donation they make published on page one of every USA newspaper!
- Stop all military and economic aid to Israel, Jordan, Egypt, etc.
- Immediateluy covene a world conference on Palestine and Israel: set a time limit (say 5 years) by which time a Palestinian state and peace treaty (with israel) must be signed. Announce that this is a FINAL settlement-nothing after this!
- Stpe screwing around: start REAL steps toward energy independence: solar, wind, coal gasification and nuclear plant construction. Enact a national excise tax on motor vehicles, based on engine size. Give grants to help people scrap gas-guzzlers and convert to modern efficient cars.
uglybeech, censoring the media would be a very bad idea. It’d just lead to rumours, and ugly ones at that.
“Did you hear that 80 people were killed by a terrorist bomb in D.C.”
“No man, it was more like 200 who succumbed to sarin gas.”
“Really, I thought it was 652 people made sick by eating tainted pistachio nuts.”
I think the first step in eliminating terrorists is to stop funding them, so the U.S. should immediately legalize pot, heroin, crack and cocaine. Make 'em available only from govt ‘drug’ stores for a realistic price (which get their supply from authorized farmers-- stop paying 'em subsidies to not grow corn) and you’ve taken a big hit out of organized crime, drug-related robberies, and stopped shipping money to the Taliban and terrorist druglords in South America.
Second: guard the ports and shore lines. For all intents and purposes, cargo containers aren’t even looked at before they enter North America. Start searching them-- all of them.
Third: uglybeech has a good point about visa applications. People like myself who have been fingerprinted, security-checked, had my passport photocopied do not need repeated inspections every time they enter the country or need a work permit renewed (heck, I just got asked to deliver a copy of my marriage certificate. How does that help anybody?). I’m in the system, and willingly complying with reasonable requests. Make it easier for those who are currently sneaking into or hiding out in the U.S. to get into the system and not be penalized for it. (It’d be nice to be able to get a driver’s license during my multi-year stay here :rolleyes: )
Airport security is a joke, full of stupid procedures that annoys most people while making some feel safe. Listen up bubs. No hijacker has managed to do anything on a plane since 9/11, and it’ll be a long, long time before any more are successful, because al-Qaeda changed the paradigm. Any would-be hijacker will be torn to shreds by passengers armed with in-flight magazines, because everyone on every plane knows that hijackers will lie and fly their plane into a building, killing thousands more. Hijacked passengers no longer have anything left to lose, and we know it.
Last, develop a non-combustible renewable energy source. Hydrogen ain’t gonna cut it, since our main source is Natural Gas. Pour money into battery technology, hydro power, nuclear fusion, anything that will realistically work. But get away from oil dependence.
There will be terrorism as long as groups feel that they have no political or economic hope.
The first thing I would do is fix the Israel-Palestine situation. I realize that the West Bank and Golan Heights would be a grave danger to Israel if enemy military were present. My solution: give these lands to Palestine, make Israel retreat to 1967 borders, but Palestine must be demilitarized. Have a UN security force to protect Israel from Palestine and a UN security force protect Palestine from Israel. I would then declare Jerusalem to be international territory- if the Israelis and/or Palestinians wished to establish it as their capital city, fine, but the city would be controlled by the UN.
Next I would begin massive economic aid to the region. Once the people have a job to go to and hope for the future, they’ll be much less likely to spend their time with terrorism.
Finally, I’d tell the Arab world that we messed up in Iraq big time, we’re sorry and we’ll leave as soon as an Islamic security force is in place.
I’m not sure what I’d go but I know what I wouldn’t do. I wouldn’t form a whole new government bureau on the spur of the moment. I wouldn’t immediately assume that conventional military action was a solution. Terrible as were the WTC and Pentagon attacks and the failed attack of the Pennsylvania plane, they were not an immediate threat to national existence.
Therefore, it seems to me, there was time to pause, think about it and consult other countries that had been the object of terrorist attacks for years as to possible actions.
I would have also concentrated on trying to hamper terrorists freedom to transfer money around. I would have concentrated on trying to get all nations to cooperate with each other in forming an intelligence gathering mechanism so that potential terrorists and their threats could be identified as rapidly as possible.
Those are just off the top of my head. Like everything else, countering terrorism involves a learning process and the first spasmodic reactions are much more likely to be wrong than right.
I’m with you, too. Most of the problems we have caused we have brought entirely upon ourselves.
I would add - stop making it out to seem that Christianity is somehow more moral or more right than any other religion. Also, stop making it seem that Islam is lesser. In my eyes, *both * religions are causing severe problems.
Education, education, education. The only way to prevent future incidences of anything is to educate the new generation. You can’t educate as long as we’re at war.
Genuinely solve problems. Why do we need to drag our troops everywhere we go? Let’s work on the problem of the hunger crisis, which is one I’m sure can be solved if we weren’t all worried about our petty disputes.
Actually listen to the UN and not make up our own rules.
Things we should do that we are already doing:
The best way to stop terrorism is to increase the amount of free democratic countries in the world. We should continue to support democratic governments that are like our own, including Isreal.
Terrorist attacks and plots should be considered a state security issue to be dealt with by the military not a law enforcement issue to be dealt with by police type agencies and thinking.
Attack governments and countries which are sponsors of or give harbor to terrorists. Gain international approval and allies when possible, but go it alone if needed.
Increase the ability of different government agencies to communicate and to use this information effectively to increase security levels when there is a greater chance of attack.
Things we should do which we are not already doing (or not doing enough of IMO):
We should use the military in support of the existing border patrol to stop the chaos at the US borders.
Create a zero tolerance policy towards evil governments that are developing WMD’s: Iran and N Korea. US and allied intelligence should be aggressively trying to prove that these weapons or programs to build them do exists. If evidence is found then we should bomb the locations where they are being produced and stored.
Oh, and I agree with this also. Yes, we shouldn’t be so cosy with the UN.
A lot of what I would do to fight terrorism has already been mentioned. However, I have a few suggestions:
I would drastically realign American military forces in Europe (specifically Germany). As well as south Korea; many south Koreans dislike the presence of American troops and want them to leave. I believe our troops in South Korea are positioned so that if North Korean troops ever invaded South Korea, our troops would be mowed down first. I’m not sure, but I think that most European countries spend less than 1-2% of their GDP on their military. They’ve gotten away with this because the U.S. has been doing this. If U.S. forces were to leave, the Europeans would have to step up to the plate and spend some money to put teeth into their military.
If I’d been in charge from the git go, I would have concentrated fully on getting Afghanistan back on its feet and not just Kabul. As it is right now, sections of the country are struggling to to deal with Taliban forces that weren’t eliminated when they should have been. I would have sent undercover teams into Iraq, Syria, and Iran to scout out the real situations and how best to deal with them. I believe that the Bush administration thought they’d be fighting a Disneyfied war in that as soon as the main fighting was over, the entire population would cheer them, throw roses, and build up their country according to the rosiest projections.
With the situation in Iraq as it is, I’d re-deploy the troops from Germany and South Korea to finally exterminate the insurgents, find and destroy all ordnance, and provide a realistic border patrol to keep foreign fighters out until Iraq’s forces can realistically defend themselves. I’d keep the U.S.'s footprint as light as possible and press Iraqis to step up to the plate and start governing themselves, starting with elections in January,2005.
When possible, I’d lobby for our homeland defense forces to undergo some significant changes. I’d insist on all of our borders whether air, land or sea to be completely and vigorously guarded. I’d shut down border crossings and get a handle on illegal aliens. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against immigration; I believe we need more hispanic, asian, european and african immigrants who have a strong work ethic and want to better themselves. But we need to make sure that people are who they say they are and they’ll be good citizens.
My last item, cause I’m getting tired, is that we need to develop alternative, renewable sources of energy and stop propping up corrupt rulers. I find it impossible to believe that this great country of ours is still dependent on fossil fuels and there are no other viable options. The energy crisis of the 1970’s should have taught us. This might be impossible but I’d also go after the oil companies in the U.S. and curtail their power. I believe that too many good americans lost their lives to prop up big business profits that don’t filter down to beneft the average american worker.
Whew! I realize that there’s a lot more to think of and some of my ideas aren’t well thought out. But that’s the gist of my opinons on this situation.
As already pointed out - fix our defective foreign policy. Try to gain some respect in the eyes of the international community.
Push for more accountability in the FBI and CIA. Make a real effort to get more agents on board with foreign-language skills. Stop adding more and more layers of beauracracy on top of the intelligence agencies, and start trying to reform from the bottom up. We were awfully close to thwarting 9/11; we have the intelligence infrastructure to do it; we just need to use it more effectively. We don’t necessarily need to give them more power; we need to get them to effectively use the resources they already have. The FBI and CIA need to be working on actually combating terrorism rather than wasting time building trumped-up cases for irrelevant foreign invasions. Probably easier said than done, but that’s what I’d try, at least. Saber-rattling isn’t gonna do it; it only makes them more determined.
Why does this remind of the old punch line, “Yes, we’re lost, but we’re sure making good time.”
Except when their name rhymes with Flaudi Flarabia.
While I appreciate that everyone is keen to help, may I suggest that you first need to understand why terrorists act.
After all, it is hard to threaten a suicidal killer with any consequences of his act, so you need to tackle his motivation.
This will involve studying history, learning about what other countries have achieved and what grievances (real or imaginary) terrorist organisations have.
In particular, having lots of troops, weapons and money is not a guarantee of success.
(If you think otherwise, do please tell me when the ‘War on Drugs’ will be won.)
Unfortunately the admirable yet relentless US election process means that short-term goals are usually selected.
Combatting terrorism is a lengthy process.
Exactly. That’s why I mentioned talking to countries that have been experiencing terrorism for years as to possible defenses, or responses.
One thing I should add to my list is to stop our automatic support for Israel. Not stop our support for its existence, but we shouldn’t always support its actions. There is no question in my mind that Al Qaeda, at least, attacks the US in part because of that support. Stationing of troops in Saudi Arabia is another stated reason. It isn’t for nothing that most of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi.
Yes, the world needs to be cleaned up and made a much fairer place. However, that’s what might be called a long term goal and I don’t expect to see much progress toward it in the time I, or you, or anyone else, have left. Not that we shouldn’t try. But in the meantime there is an immediate threat, not to national existence (unless we continue our panicy reactions), but to lives and property. That needs to be dealt with by some method other than sending our whole available land force to a side issue such as deposing Saddam.
We need a Marshall Plan for the third world. Spend the money and build these people a working economy and a decent health and education system. People that have jobs don’t join terrorist organizations.
We can’t afford a Marshall Plan. We shipped all the good paying jobs to the 3rd World, but kept paying 3rd Worlders shit.