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Human Nature Trumps Homeland Security 304

netbuzz writes "Security expert Bruce Schneier suggests this morning that 'there might not be a solution' to our post-9/11 penchant for making domestic anti-terrorism decisions based on the basic human desire to cover one's backside. He might be right. But shouldn't we at least try to figure out a better way? For example, wouldn't 'Commonsense Homeland Security' be a winning political banner, not a risky one? "
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Human Nature Trumps Homeland Security

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  • Not exactly. (Score:4, Informative)

    by khasim ( 1285 ) <> on Thursday February 22, 2007 @06:36PM (#18115228)
    Most of the time the politicians WANT the people to be afraid because fear is an emotion and emotions are easier to use when re-election time comes.

    Politicians who run on fear don't have any thing else.
  • by servognome ( 738846 ) on Thursday February 22, 2007 @06:43PM (#18115340)

    Exactly. You don't see terrorist bombings in Norway, because Norway isn't sticking their collective noses in other peoples' business.
    There haven't seen terroist bombings yet in Norway, though they have been directly [] threatened [].
  • by Kozar_The_Malignant ( 738483 ) on Thursday February 22, 2007 @06:50PM (#18115448)

    >Check France, Holland, or Spain recently?

    WRT sticking their noses in other people's business, both France and Spain have a long and bloody history of mucking about in (Islamic) north Africa on the one hand and squashing the Basque between them on the other. The Netherlands have their history in the east Indies, but I can't see that Holland is a big terrorist target these days. Random nut-cases aside, of course.
  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Thursday February 22, 2007 @06:51PM (#18115464) Homepage Journal
    Okay, so the republicans get us into the problems. Then the dems ostensibly try to get us out with the results that they now hate us. Then the reps get us into something new. Eventually these conflicts boil up into wars that allow us to throw billions at the military-industrial complex, from which both dems and reps profit. So are you sure it's the reps making it all happen? I'd say it's the result of collusion between both parties, or from a more paranoid view, some higher level of organization that really runs both. I'm not really making that assertion, but you do have to realize that both reps and dems are populists, not actually liberals or conservatives, and that they are all part of the same corrupt kleptocracy.
  • by maxume ( 22995 ) on Thursday February 22, 2007 @06:58PM (#18115570)
    Of course, all the evil acts committed by the people driving the terrorism do confuse the issue.

    An interesting take that minimizes religion as a driver: fact2 []
  • by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <> on Thursday February 22, 2007 @07:12PM (#18115746) Homepage

    They only really got sectarian after they were attacked by Christians, who were involved in campaigns to kill any group who didn't join them.

    All I can say is, pick up a history textbook. Muslim armies sprang out of Arabia and overran the Empire before the Christians had ever heard of this new religion. The Byzantine Empire had been tied up for two decades at that part in a war with the Persians, none of the Empire's attention was on the Arabian peninsula. The pagans there, and subsequently the early Muslims who then subdued the pagans, lived in isolation and were unmolested by the Empire. Sorry, but as many examples of Christian violence you might be able to point to in the years to come, the Muslims really did strike the first blow here.

  • by Chr0me ( 180627 ) on Thursday February 22, 2007 @07:12PM (#18115748)
    yes. It was called _Animal_House_.
  • by rhombic ( 140326 ) on Thursday February 22, 2007 @07:49PM (#18116216)

    Bush I believe, but most of them are only interested in Christianity as a tool to manipulate their base.

    What makes you think OBL, Hezbollah, or any of the others are any different? Religion as a tool to manipulate the base goes back to the beginning.

  • *whoosh* (Score:4, Informative)

    by benhocking ( 724439 ) <{benjaminhocking} {at} {}> on Thursday February 22, 2007 @08:26PM (#18116576) Homepage Journal
    Fnord []
  • by Jarn_Firebrand ( 845277 ) < minus pi> on Thursday February 22, 2007 @09:39PM (#18117284)
    Um, no. How this got modded Insightful is beyond me. First of all, Scenario #1 is unlikely. Scenario #2 is probably going to be the scenario we have. Then there are scenarios #3, #4, and #5. By far the most likely ones are the ones in which "no terrorist attack happens", fyi. So, #2 and #3.

    Scenario #3:
    1. $PRESIDENT and $EXECUTIVE_BRANCH_POLITICIANS say "this is overblown, go back about your normal business"
    2. No terrorist attacks happen.
    3. People cheer that $PRESIDENT and $EXECUTIVE_BRANCH_POLITICIANS made the correct choice.

    Scenario #4:
    1. $PRESIDENT and $EXECUTIVE_BRANCH_POLITICIANS do everything that they can to prevent anything even resembling a terrorist attack
    2. Terrorist attack happens, but is foiled.
    3. People cheer that $PRESIDENT and $EXECUTIVE_BRANCH_POLITICIANS made the correct choice.

    Scenario #5:
    1. $PRESIDENT and $EXECUTIVE_BRANCH_POLITICIANS do everything that they can to prevent anything even resembling a terrorist attack
    2. Terrorist attack happens anyway.
    3. People howl that $PRESIDENT and $EXECUTIVE_BRANCH_POLITICIANS did nothing when they had the chance.

    It seems you conveniently left out the ones where the administration makes the CORRECT choice. Perhaps you want to make the current administration seem better by claiming no matter people will be mad? Sorry, but you failed. Natalie Portman and hot grits.
  • by andersh ( 229403 ) on Friday February 23, 2007 @06:28AM (#18120380)
    Okay, I dont know where you get your information. But Norway has had troops in both Afghanistan [] and Iraq []. Just these last weeks Norway was asked by the US/NATO to contribute more troops to Afghanistan. So we are sending even more special forces units. Not to mention our F-16s were flying missions down there. And I believe our Royal Norwegian navy is still part of related NATO missions in the Med.

    No, we have not had bombings in Norway yet. However we have had attacks on the only Synagogue in Oslo by Pakistani militants. We have had attacks on our Jewish populace by Arab immigrants. And we have had the pleasure of hosting terrorists from North Africa that were involved in other European bomb attacks. If those people had not been arrested thanks to our Secret Service we might just have had our 9/11. Who knows.

    Regardless, our nose is very much indeed in other peoples business.
    We are active in Israel/Palestine, Sri Lanka, Guatemala etc. Remember the Oslo agreement that led to the Camp David signatures? Not loved by the Arab world. In Sri Lanka they burn our flags and effigy's of our Ambassador because we are trying to create peace. They do not want peace or our peacekeeping observer corps (troops). Did I mention the Muslims on Sri Lanka?

    So you see there any number of reasons why Norway could be attacked.
  • by DudeTheMath ( 522264 ) on Friday February 23, 2007 @09:43AM (#18121340) Homepage
    Your comment reminds me of a saying: "In England, two hundred miles is a long way; in the U.S., two hundred years is a long time." Europe and the Mideast have a long, long history of political interference. Shoot, here in the U.S., there are plenty of people who are still pissed about the Civil War a century and a half ago. The partitioning of the Ottoman Empire only eighty-five years ago was just another "last straw" in a long line of "last straws," and there have been more "straws" since. I'm not trying to excuse the behavior, merely to explain the deep feelings of oppression (correct or not) in the region.

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.