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United States Government Privacy Politics

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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  • by silentounce ( 1004459 ) on Thursday February 22, 2007 @06:43PM (#18115348) Homepage
    Your comment might have been insightful, except for one thing. "the only reason" That shows blatant ignorance. This world is far more complex that. There is no "only reason" for anything. One of the reasons that they want to kill us is because of the political/military interference. Another reason is their hatred of our religion. There is also a centuries old grudge against the West based on the Crusades. That will not go away, EVER. Some few people will always be able to find a "motive" to do evil things. I'm sure if you actually think about it you will be able to come up with more reasons. But you chose to spout your liberal rhetoric that is just as bad and as broad a generalization as the neo-con rhetoric that others replied with. Again, I am only referring to the extremists, the terrorists.
  • by Cyraan ( 840132 ) on Thursday February 22, 2007 @07:03PM (#18115634)
    But we weren't just sitting at home, we've been meddling in their affairs for decades, installing and propping up murderous dictators, and sometimes assassinating democratically elected leaders in the process. While obviously not all their grievances against us are legitimate, the fact is our actions in the past have helped to shape theirs in the present.
  • by gregoryb ( 306233 ) on Thursday February 22, 2007 @07:18PM (#18115840) Homepage

    I read a book recently that touched on something similar to this. Part of the argument was if more of our leadership actually had any military experience, they might stop treating the military as a black box they can just throw any problem in and crank out any solution they desired. Also, if more of our leadership (cultural as well as political) had children who served in the military, they might think twice of using the military in some of the ways it's been used in the past decade.

    The book was titled AWOL []. Pretty interesting book, and while I don't agree with everything in it, it made me think.


  • by diablomonic ( 754193 ) on Thursday February 22, 2007 @07:45PM (#18116176)
    Actually, while I agree with your comment (if you dont want bees to sting you, dont whack their hive repeatedly with a baseball bat) I dont fear islamic terrorists. I've yet to see any massive attacks that were organised successfully by them and them alone, all the major ones (eg 9/11) were OTHER groups blaming it on the islamic bogeymen (and hell, after whats been done to Palestine Lebanon Iraq Afghanistan etc while hypocritically claiming the moral high ground in the name of "democracy" (which the US is NOT, you cant have democracy if you cant even count the votes without cheating, nor is it a true democracy if the real power gives you two or three pre-chosen candidates to "pick" from) I at least understand their motives (that doesnt make terrorism ok though).

    9/11 was an inside job. How else do you explain the

    - air force stand down (more than one jet fighter scramble PER WEEK in the year leading up to 9/11, supposedly none till too late on 9/11)

    - more than half a dozen millitary "drills" going on many of which "strangely" coincided with aspects of 9/11, and most of which seemed to deliberately tie up key resources which may have affected the events that day

    - WTC7 symmetrical collapse, looking like the best example of controlled demolition I've ever seen, admitted by the owner to be controlled demolition, admitted by multiple witnesses to have been controlled demolition, yet officially fell from random assymetrical fire and minor (compared to the building size/construction) damage. (hint, CD takes weeks to months to plan, and days to set up properly, so how could they have done it in less than 7 hours?)

    - twin towers, DESIGNED to take the impacts and fires from similar sized airplane hits, main construction manager thought it would be able to take MULTIPLE strikes per building (and he should know) without failing, yet small (yes they where, look at the windsor building for large fires) fires and designed for damage bring them straight down and pulverise them mid air.

    - No steel framed high rise has EVER collapsed from fire before. many steel framed high rises have burned wildly for many hours, even days, making the wtc fires look like bic lighters, yet the didnt collapse.

    - many witnesses claim seeing/hearing explosions, charge sequences, CD style demolition, claims of secondary devices were all over the place on the day.

    - literally HUNDREDS of other major discrepencies and outright fabrications in the official conspiracy theories.

    given that it was an inside job, government restrictions on airtravel etc will have no effect on the next 9/11 (which they are planning to have an excuse to invade Iran) since the black government will of course be able to use its connections to bypass it, just as they did on 9/11 (look up how these supposed islamic hijacker patsies even GOT in the country, and where they trained for "their" attack)

    I will stop here, as those of you who are listening can go off and research it yourself (hint for people unfamiliar with all this, dont trust ANY web site 100% to tell you the whole truth, there are many disinfo sites and sites by people confused by disinfo out there, and often no way to be sure 100% which is which. Also ALWAYS look up the source of a claim, as many mainstream (and supposedly "trustworthy"...) sites will claim someone is saying x (x = crazy claim) when they are really claiming Y ( y = not so crazy claim) to discredit them).

    Those of you who arent listening, probably wont even get this far..

  • by Max Littlemore ( 1001285 ) on Thursday February 22, 2007 @08:08PM (#18116400)

    No, the Egyptians struct the first blow. The Greeks did a fair bit of damage too.

    Sure, that was before either religion existed, but they did, but these wars were based on empire building as much as religion. The fact is that as a whole, the history of Islam shows far more tolerance of other religions than Christianity. There are _still_ missionaries travelling the world "saving" savages for fucks sake!

    I understand that this view will not be popular here, because this is a US based site, most Americans are Christian and the current propaganda demonises Islam, but hey, karma is action and gotsta do it.

  • Ever wonder? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by s31523 ( 926314 ) on Thursday February 22, 2007 @08:37PM (#18116676)
    I was thinking about this the other day as I set up a zombie PC as a honeypot []:
    I wonder if the various agencies do this for would be terrorists? Here on US soil, even over in the big sandbox. I guess the more appropriate term would be sting, but the concept is the same. Setup a weapons depot, or something else the terrorists are interested in and wait for them to come get it, and bust their ass. Remember the old scam where cops sent people with outstanding warrants notices that they won a boar or something, then busted them? I think we need to get creative, and start to be a little more proactive.
  • Re:Do not agree (Score:3, Interesting)

    by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Thursday February 22, 2007 @08:52PM (#18116820)
    Try carrying a stack of bibles into Saudi Arabia and see how far you get through customs. I'll tell you how far - to the line that leads to jail:

    Try this on for size: Try carrying a stack of Taliban-endorsed religious texts into the United States of America and see how far you get through customs. For bonus fun, get a deep tan, grow a beard, and wear traditional middle eastern attire. You might make it through... eventually.

    In America, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. I worked in Japan for some time and realized that a somewhat similar Japanese phrase crystallizes the difference between our two cultures - the nail that sticks up gets hit.

    If by crstallize you mean, "make no sense whatsoever".

    Common western phrases such as:

    "rock the boat" or "make waves" or "stick your neck out" all refer to idea that if you make yourself noticed you'll end up in trouble, as all of these phrases are usually warnings, and are often preceded by "Don't". I'd say the idea characterized by Japan's "the nail that sticks up gets hit" phrase is WELL represented here.

    Certainly, we are not without sin, but the current rift is more complex than you portray. At the very least, it is due in part to a clash of cultures and religions that are almost diametrically opposed to one another. Freedom of speech, expression and, yes, religion are basic tenets of American society. We have grown so used to these basic freedoms that we assume that they are universally true...and they are not...regardless of how much we (or others) would like them to be.

    1) The various cultural and religious disputes going on are rarely diametric. The differences are usually pretty minor details. People will still hate each other over them, and fight to the death over them, but if you take a step back, these great 'cultural divides' you are suggesting simply don't exist.

    2) America was not attacked because of "freedom of speech, expression, and religion". The terrorist threat is entirely due to the Wests interfering in the middle east for its own selfish interests.

    If the US was an oppressive fascist state run by the Taliban, but had interfered in the Middle East for its own interests the same way the 'free and democratic US' had, the terrorists would hate THAT U.S. just as much. The only difference would be the rhetoric used to keep the 'hate-on' up.

    If the Middle East was a predominantly Catholic region, and the US had interfered with it in the same way, there would still be terrorists that hate us just as much. The only difference would be the rhetoric...

  • ouch (Score:4, Interesting)

    by towsonu2003 ( 928663 ) on Thursday February 22, 2007 @09:06PM (#18116986)
    Approaching security with "common sense" in a racist, sexist and capitalist society is dangerous at best...
  • by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Thursday February 22, 2007 @09:22PM (#18117146) Homepage
    That sounds a lot like the US administration when they try to scare the public by saying that just because we haven't been attacked since 9/11, doesn't mean that the terrorists won't attack tomorrow...

    Now, this is just me, and of course I don't approve of this being used politically by Bush&Co to scare people into voting for them, but in a way I think he is right. I think Dick Cheney was right when he said that the Democrats taking control of the country could result in more terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.

    The basic reason is that as of right now there is still no need to attack the U.S. 9/11 got Osama bin Laden just about everything he could have ever dreamed for in response. We not only invaded one Muslim country but two, and think about what great P.R. that makes for his brochures! "U.S. wants to invade Muslim states and destroy them!" is much more convincing when you can point to a T.V. showing American troops occupying a Muslim state, right? "U.S. is full of depraved pyschopaths who hate us!" is much more convincing when you see pictures from abu Ghraib, no? Then there's the fact that we are being bloodied so badly in Iraq. The quagmire there is weakening us, just like Russia's failed occupation of Afghanistan weakened them. Not to mention Iraq is now a fantastic recruiting and training ground for more terrorists, who have grown multiplied faster than we can kill them. No single attack on us could hurt us as badly as what we are doing to ourselves in Iraq.

    So as long as the "War on Terror" continues full force, al Qaeda et al don't really need to bother with us directly. The War on Terror is exactly what they want.

    Now lets say that a new president comes in and starts rolling back the war on terror, pulls our troops out of Iraq. Well that won't do! Recruiting is a lot tougher when "America wants to kill Muslims!" is merely a hypothetical argument. So what's the obvious thing to do? Poke the tiger again! Another 9/11 so that even the most peacenik Pres of all time would have to bomb the shit out of somebody.

    We are vulnerable when we are crazy-scared of terrorism, running around doing stupid things and basically becoming our own worst enemy. So if we stop doing that, I say expect another attack to try to get us riled up and crazy again.

    The key thing to note is that this is the reaction they want, and thus it is imperative that we don't do it.
  • Re:not a new problem (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sheldon ( 2322 ) on Friday February 23, 2007 @01:56AM (#18119108)
    There was a story a few years ago of a woman who was found trying to carry a bomb onto a plane. The woman was pregnant, she was alone, and she was trying to travel to a country where she did not have any family. Israeli security identified this during their brief questioning and thought it very odd. So they pulled her aside and did a thorough search of her luggage and found a bomb.

    The woman didn't know there was a bomb. She was simply offered a sum of money to carry a bag.

    Fortunately, Israel is smarter than most idiots and doesn't do racial profiling, but rather intelligent profiling. Questioning, looking for things which don't make sense, looking for behaviors which reveal nervousness or deceptiveness, etc.

    Consider how easy it would be to con a grandmother traveling with her family. Not hard at all... you've won a trip for your whole family, but since we represent Supreme Luggage, you must use our bags. So much for your "intelligent" racial profiling.

    All you are really doing is justifying racism.

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