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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

We have met the enemy...

As we dodge the whirlwind of fingers being pointed over the latest intelligence failure and a, mercifully, failed terrorist attack, it's time to drag out that old swamp philosopher Pogo, to analyze the situation.
"We have met the enemy and he is us."
Let's go back to the summer of 2001, when the media was crazed over sharks and the disappearance of Washington intern Chandra Levy. Lost in the shuffle at a vacationing White House was the infamous 'Bin Laden determined to strike in the US' memo.

While the jury is still out on what this president knew and when he knew it, is is clear that intelligence agencies failed to take appropriate heed of warning signs.

But then again, was terrorism and vigilance high on the list of issues for the media, or for that matter the rest of us.

Let's look back at some of the major stories of 2009: Tiger Woods; Octomom; Jon and Kate; Michael Jackson. With two wars, the Great Recession and a decade of bad news we were all to willing to allow ourselves to get lost in the trivia.

Republicans who were in charge when the 2001 attack happened are quick to point fingers about a supposed lack of proper vigilance on the part of the Obama administration. It's campaign rhetoric pure and simple, as obvious as Jim "Waterloo" DeMint's hold on the appointment of a TSA new director.

But we all share a piece of blame for allowing the hyperpartisan, score political points uber alles mindset that continues to fester. We includes the media that focuses on horse races and tactics and polls instead of analysis.

It will be interesting to see if this incident sparks another effort at actual reporting -- and what the results will be in terms of the Obama administration's handling of the issue none of us really wants to think about.

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Blogger Readwriteblue said...

First; Best wishes to you and all you hold dear in the New Year.

You are absolutely correct that our nation is ill served by politicians who see their role as, “score political points uber alles” and damn anything that is beyond the scope of a sound-bit zinger. We have also been poorly served by a mass media that has only the insightfulness and focus of a child. In many ways we as Americans have been let down.

While we may disagree about many things I believe that both of us wish to see the terrorists’ ideology defeated. It is that undertaking that has not been perused. Not by President Bush when he landed on an aircraft carrier in front of a banner saying “mission accomplished”, or by President Obama with his out reach to the thug despots in Iran. It is self evident that our values are in conflict with their bigoted religious views. Our culture is superior to the wahabism practiced by the terrorists. We should not put our trust in new scanners or more numerous screeners or even the heroism of our fellow citizens. Our unshakable faith should be that no matter how different other people may seem, inside each and every one of there is the spark of freedom.

January 01, 2010 11:07 AM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

And to you Read. Let me just add that with a minor quibble on phrasing here and there in your comment, you and I do agree on the basics.

Maybe this is a good omen for the new year?

January 01, 2010 11:52 AM  

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