Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

New N I E released: US vulnerable

You know how I've been saying that it seems to make common sense to me that if we're fighting terrorists "over there," it leaves our own borders at risk because so many of our defensive resources are being used outside the nation?

And you know how I've been saying that invading Iraq was seen as an act of unnecessary aggression by a nation that had no business doing it - that the US would therefore be seen as an interloper and occupying nation?

Well, the new National Intelligence Estimate (a report gathered by some 81 separate intelligence agencies, approved for security and released to US elected officials and government bureaucrats) was just released and not only said that invading Iraq acted not only as a huge recruiting incentive for Al qaeda worldwide, but that the Iraq war has proved to be an extraordinary and efficient training ground for them, fighting US forces.

They do not need to stay in Iraq because so many Iraqis are fighting the US on their own. Only a small percentage of those fighting the US in Iraq are identified as Al qaeda.

Here's the deal: There are three major populations in Iraq: The Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. Kurds want independence from Iraq--from the Sunnis and Shiites; the minority group Sunnis (formerly supporting Saddam Hussein) are fighting with the majority Shiites.

This is what they call the basic civil war that has been fought for centuries.

Pile on top of that many more individual tribal battles and Al Qaeda forces fighting in the mix and you've got a good picture of the bloody dilemma there.

That means at this point there is basically no national identification or allegiance to Iraq; there is more of an identity with a specific group within Iraq to which the individual belongs. So the wish for any sort of democracy that George Bush says he wants for the country - the reason we have supposedly been spending half a trillion dollars and thousands of American lives has no chance of being realized because the unified nation of Iraq does not exist.

More, even if popular elections were held, Iraq would become a theocracy because Islamic fundamentalists are fighting to gain power over the nation.

A new documentary, Islam: What the West Needs To Know, says that Islam is a system of law more than a religion and is explicitly expansionary. That Muslims want to convert the world to live according to Islamic law. According to the film's co-director Bryan Daly, Islamists have been conducting their expansionary efforts for more than a millennium, with varying degrees of success.

They wish to live under the theocracy of Islam - living as they claim the Koran dictates - rather than consider itself a religion apart from a state, just as fundamentalist Christians want in the US - to live as they claim the Bible states we ought to, without any secular input - without the separation of church and state.

The US Constitution and Bill of Rights is based on the separation of church and state.

What they would like to see in the US pledge of allegiance is virtually, "One nation, ruled under God." That is, "One nation, run by our personal interpretation of God's will."

Islam: What the West Should Know is produced by Quixotic Media, LLC, whose backers are not clearly identified, and based on the book Religion of Peace? Islam's War Against the World by Gregory M Davis.

The documentary is a New York Times Critic's Pick, and correctly notes that the film has a very strong conservative point of view, but one that I think could still contribute to a greater understanding of Islam when taken in context.

Meanwhile, the NIE report indicates that three terrorist groups, including Al Qaeda and Hezbollah want to attack the US within its borders and claim to be working toward that goal.

Since there are still serious border security problems and massive defensive resources being exploited outside the US, the country remains vulnerable.

The federal government still has no plan to prevent, protect us from or recover from another terrorist attack, despite the billions of tax dollars spent on the Department of Homeland Security. More, according to the New York Times, 25% of all positions at DHS are currently vacant (in case you're looking for a job).

One thing we can do to help protect ourselves from terrorist attacks in any nation is keep an eye out for people doing weird things - no matter their race, age or gender. If we only look for a "certain type" of person, we'll miss the folks who can actually do all the damage.

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