Thursday, August 26, 2004

The Blog is Back!!!
well, i took some time off for summer, and as is obvious, didn't blog much. But, classes start on Monday, and so i figured I would resurect the blog. I might even have my classes log onto it this term as well-- haven't decided that one yet. 2 sections of world politics, though, always fertile ground for discussion.

So, my issue of the day is the 9-11 Commission Report. I read it this week. I think that every person should read this report-- its quite important on several levels.

Its also quite spooky.

I was in Colorado, visiting my sisters, and I bought the report there to read on the way home. I started reading it in Denver International Airport as we waited to get on our plane and continued reading as the plane took off.
You see, the first 40 pages of the report are an in-depth, very detailed narrative that recreates the hijackings on the morning of September 11, 2001. They go through, in intimate detail, each and everything that happened that morning-- how (as best we know) they boarded the planes, hijacked them, and turned them toward thier targets. It details the government's response, the confusion, and the decisions that were taken as things were unfolding.
Perhaps not what you want to read while you are reaching your cruising altitude of 25,000 feet..

Anyway, in reading the report, I think that thier recommendations have real merit. I think that I like thier proposal for a National Intelligence Director. The reforms they proposed do look alot like the Goldwater-Nichols reforms to DoD, and in that respect, I think the proposed changes could actually work since they are based on an already successful model.

What is frustrating is the discussion of all this in the campaign and media. If you read the report, you see that there are a multitude of recommendations, for both policy, proceedure, and government structure. When Kerry said that he endorses all of the reforms, he at least took a defensible and somewhat sensible position. Yet, everyone focuses on the NID and the turf battles that follow. What they don't discuss (and what I think is just as important) is that the NID alone won't work if the rest of the reforms aren't also adopted. The commission actually did a good job to come up with a complete package, and if you want to tinker with the package, you need a replacement. So you don't want an NID. OK, well, then what do you want, and are you also going to not call for the reform of Congress, the budget, appointments, the way we think of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and nation-building?

More people need to discuss this, and in a better way than they are doing now.

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