Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Wednesday digest

- Now here's a formula for success: the Koran from 8 to 3, then reading, writing and arithmetic from 3 to 5. (H/T: Right Wing News.)

- After last year's arrests, some commentators are suggesting that racial profiling deserves a second look (see here, here and here). Personally, I'm not sure it's a good idea, not because I really care about the inconvenience and bad feelings that a young, bearded Muslim male may have to deal with at the time (tough), but rather, my concern is that an overzealous screener or border guard may, through aggressivity, contribute to potential radicalization and thus help create a terrorist-in-the-making. It's a question of risk management. I think the concept of "passenger profiling" might be worth pursuing, whereby you allow screeners the latitude to give more attention to individuals they deem suspicious, rather than operating on the assumption that there's a potential suicide bomber in everyone regardless of their demographic. As the Israeli ambassador to the UN asked rhetorically regarding Hezbollah, the Party of God acts in the name of which God? That's a fact that can't be ignored, although as I said above, it's a delicate balance between stopping attacks from being carried out and driving young men into the arms of al-Qaeda and friends by going over-the-top.

- Condi says the Mideast peace accord is a good first step. I'd say that if the US, Israel and Lebanon's "government" have a hope in hell of keeping the people of south Lebanon out of Hezbollah's grasp, they've got to win the race against time for the rebuilding of the area. If Nasrallah's gang is more effective at providing services and assistance to the displaced, Lebanese democrats are going to lose any foothold they may have had in that region in the fight against the terrorists.

- Now this is some good stuff from Walter Williams:

Rank nations according to whether they are closer to the capitalism end or the communism end of the economic spectrum. Then rank nations according to human rights protections. Finally, rank nations according to per capita income. Without question, citizens of those nations closer to capitalism enjoy a higher standard of living and a far greater measure of liberty than those in nations closer to communism.

- I generally don't mind Slick Willie, but I think he ought to learn to resist the urge to take pot shots at his successor. The unwritten rule of being a former US president is that you keep your mouth shut about the policies of the current Commander in Chief. Although it plays well to the balcony at times, I think that it makes Clinton look petty. And he doesn't need any more of that, does he?


At 5:01 PM, Blogger Bobcaygeon said...

"my concern is that an overzealous screener or border guard may, through aggressivity, contribute to potential radicalization and thus help create a terrorist-in-the-making"
Which is exactly why you should be against GITMO! Same deal.

At 5:51 PM, Blogger Road Hammer said...

No way.

Al-Qaeda POWs at Gitmo are not in the same category as a law-abiding brown guy from Toronto driving down to Buffalo for a Bills game.

They do not deserve the same treatment, nor should they, because the Bills fan is not an enemy combatant.

Even the most ardent West hater should be able to make that distinction.

At 9:58 AM, Blogger Bobcaygeon said...

Unless you're a Dolphins fan!

You're assuming everyone in Gitmo was or is guilty despite the fact that they are being held without charge and that the Yanks have let dozens of former Gitmo residents go after two years.

So is the presumption of innocence out the door along with the Geneva Convention, too, or is it a matter of "you're in Afghanistan in 2001, therefore you must be a terrorist?"

At 10:55 AM, Blogger Road Hammer said...

Bottom line is that if a person is equally driven to suicide bombing because of the alleged abuses at Gitmo as they are harassment of brown-skinned individuals at the border or at an airport, they are probably more likely than not to sympathize with terrorists regardless of whether or not racial profiling is implemented.

In other words, if you are fighting alongside Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan in 2001 and end up at Gitmo, the likelihood that you are guilty of something is a hell of a lot more higher than it is if you are just crossing the Canada/US border so again, it's not the same deal. If the would-be terrorist can't tell the difference, well, than they've got some problems.

Conversely, if Gitmo detainees were to be charged in a formal court of law rather than a military tribunal, I'd say anyone who is on the fence concerning terror is not likely to say "well, they're acutally charging people held in Gitmo so I think I'll tell that al-Qaeda recruiter thanks, but no thanks".


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